There were twelve machine gun companies.
There were mules and officer’s horses and the limbers to transport. It took two train loads. We travelled down to Southampton arriving at about 4 or 5 in the morning.
We had to wait around all day on account of enemy submarines in the English Channel.
Then onto a troop ship, or something to take us over to Le Havre. It was accompanied by a destroyer. We spent all night on the ship. They were watching out for submarines. I had a walk about on the deck. We got a cup of tea and a bun. It was packed. The following afternoon we landed at Le Havre accompanied by a Destroyer. It was a beautiful hot sunny day. I remember the coble stones.
We just got out and fell asleep; we were dead beat.
Eventually we were loaded into cattle trucks, not carriages.
We crawled up to the rail head at Bethune. We passed a farm, an orchard, the thing was travelling so slow the lads jumped off and pinched apples then got back on the train.
When we got to the railhead we were near as possible to the Front Line at Neuve Chapelle.
I was in four places:
Vielle Chapelle, Arras, the Somme and Passchendale.
On the Somme, we went from Peronne, then to Albert, Bapaume and Combles, Cambrai followed by Caix.
We moved about there.
We were gradually taking parts of the line over from the French in the South.