1st December 1914
The Dorsets didn’t enjoy a very long rest but, if the East Surrey’s war diary is anything to go by, they might have stocked up on winter clothing which had arrived at Dranouter the previous week. This included fabulously bushy fur jackets made from goatskins.
In the afternoon they marched via Neuve Église and relieved their old friends, the East Surreys. The Dorsets were now in trenches, according to the diary, to “the north of Wulverghem-Messines Road”. I’ve indicated it on the map. Frank and the rest of A Company went into the reserve trenches alongside the Battalion HQ dugouts.
The 15th Brigade’s war diary documents that I’ve downloaded from the Public Records Office, although it’s meant to include August to December, only goes up to September. I wonder if the papers are lost or if they are just not digitised yet. Luckily some of the Dorsets’ trench maps for early December are tucked into the 14th Brigade’s records.