Memoirs & Diaries - The Diary of Thomas Fredrick Littler: 1919

Thomas Littler, author of the diaries This section of the site comprises the wartime diaries of Thomas Fredrick Littler.

Click here to read an introduction to the diaries.  The final section of the diaries (below) covers portions of the year following the armistice in 1919 and Littler's application for demobilisation.

Diary Entries for 1919

January 1st 1919
First day of the New Year.

January 2nd 1919
Still in rotten Courtrai.

January 3rd 1919
We left Courtrai and entrained and passed through Menin, Tourcoing, and Roubaix to Lille, through Lille, Tournai, Mons, Ath, Nivelles, Namur, to Huy, and then marched to a village called Moha about 5 kilos outside Huy, and I was posted to the strength of No2 Section 228th Field Company, Royal Engineers, this took up the whole of the day January the 4th 1919.

January 5th 1919
We did a few fatigues.

January 6th 1919
We did a few fatigues.

January 7th 1919
I mounted guard at 9a.m was relieved in the afternoon and went and played football for the company against the R.A.M.C we won 7-1.

January 8th 1919
Dismounted guard at 8a.m.

January 9th 1919
We marched from Moha through Wanza to Huy station, entrained passed through Liege to the frontier, crossed the frontier and stopped at the first big German station called Aix-la-Chapelle, then passed through Duren and stopped at Wahn at 5a.m.

January 10th 1919
Detrained at Wahn at 5a.m and marched to a village about 10kilos away, here the people shut doors and windows in our faces, tried to be as unfriendly as they could, but it made no difference we were top dogs, we left this village after a three hours stop, and marched on to Cologne and billeted in a theatre, the civilians here were on the whole not too bad, but we held them in cold contempt, as we are the victors and they the victims.

January 11th 1919
We are in Kalk a part of Cologne, have been round the city this day, and I find it a most magnificent place.

January 15th 1919
I took part in the Divisional Boxing contest for Divisional championship for middleweight, won the first two bouts, but I got knocked out by Sgt Rundell of the Kings Royal Rifles in the semi-final.

January 19th 1919
I filled in my Dispersal Form for Demobilisation, but I am still in Kalk Cologne.

January 20th to 28th 1919
Still in Cologne.

January 29th 1919
We marched from Cologne through Rosrath, and Overath, to Honrath, a distance of 25 kilos this being the bridge head after which there were no British troops, our outposts are doing outpost duty here on the edge of the village and the German outposts were doing outpost duty 400 yds beyond.

January 30th 1919
I took a day off.

January 31st 1919
I did a 24 hours guard for being off parade the day before.

February 1st 1919
I filled in my Demobilisation Card and I was warned to proceed the next day.

February 2nd 1919
Homeward bound, boarded the train at Honrath, passed through Rosrath, to Cologne, and stayed in the Weidenbach Barracks the night.

February 3rd 1919
Left Cologne at 9a.m and passed through Duren, Aix-le-Chapelle, Leige, Huy and Namur today.

February 4th 1919
Still in the train passed through Nivelles, Charleroi, Mons, Ath, to Tournai.

February 5th 1919
Still in the train and passed through Lille, Hazebrouk, to Dunkirk, arriving here at 11a.m and placed in what is called the Dirty Camp. We had dinner and paraded full marching order, supposed to have a bath, and proceeded to No1 Demobilisation Camp, in Dunkirk town, to await embarkation.

February 6th 1919
Still in the camp and placed in Demobilisation Drafts, I was placed in draft 61.

February 7th 1919
Left this Demobilisation Camp which is called Mardyke Camp, at Dunkirk at 9-30 a.m marched down to the docks, boarded the transport ship Viper at 2p.m, sailed 2-30p.m, had a rough crossing, and arrived at Dover at 6-0p.m, boarded the train at 6-30p.m and came to Prees Heath Camp arriving here at 3a.m.

February 8th 1919
Arrived at Prees Heath at 3a.m and handed in kit and rifle at 5a.m, got all my papers by 6a.m, had breakfast and boarded the train at 11a.m for Crewe, waited for a train at Crewe, got to Northwich at 6p.m, home at last.

February 9th 1919
Months leave started today.

February 10th 1919
Put on my civilian clothes.

February 24th 1919
Started work at Brunner Mond and Co.s Winnington.

March 9th 1919
Months furlough expires today.

June 28th 1919
Peace was signed at Versailles (France) at 3-12p.m.

Diary and photographs contributed by Chris Littler, visit his website at www.first-world-war.co.uk.

3 British Officers were executed by courts martial during the war, as opposed to 316 Private soldiers and 24 Non-Commissioned Officers.  The vast majority were for desertions.

- Did you know?

Thomas Littler