J. O. M. Ashley 1919 Diary January 24th-27th

Friday 24th January 1919

Salisbury – London

Last day of the BC’s course and a very fine one too.  All the ?Busses? etc rush home and all succeed in catching the 2.40pm train from Salisbury.

Spend the night with the E. go to the Empress Rooms after dinner.

Saturday 25th January 1919

London – Teddington

Return home in the afternoon.

Sunday 26th January 1919


Go up to dinner with the E. and forget what time the last Richmond train leaves Earl’s Court consequently.

Monday 27th January 1919

Teddington – Lydd

Catch 1am train from Waterloo – the one train of the day that does not stop at Hampton Wick!

Pack etc and go up to Waterloo on the return journey to Lydd at 2.40.  This time succeed in catching the 4.30 from Charing X with 3/4 hr. to spare.

Arrive at my destination on a very unpleasant evening, blowing and raining hard: but am cheered by being told to go to the RA and RE Mess.  The best in the camp and established since the eighteen eighties.

J. Ashley’s diary 1919 January 18th-23rd

Saturday 18th January 1919


In evening go with Frank, DL and PB to the Empress Rooms.

Sunday 19th January 1919

Teddington – Salisbury

Return to duty by the 7.15 pm from Waterloo

Monday 20th January 1919


Tuesday 21st January 1919


Go out to a dance in Salisbury, dining first with the Malets at the Crown Hotel.

After some difficulty succeed in getting back into the Red Lion about 2.30 am!

Wednesday 22nd January 1919


Thursday 23rd January 1919


J. Ashley’s Diary 1919 January 13th-17th

January 13th 1919, Monday


Our daily duties for the next fortnight consist of a trip out to Chapperton Down in very comfortable exhaust-heated motor ambulances, door to door hours 8.45 to 5pm.  Then a lecture every evening at 5.30pm.

January 14th 1919, Tuesday


January 15th 1919, Wednesday


January 16th 1919, Thursday


January 17th 1919,

Salisbury – Teddington

Catch 4.20 pm from Salisbury arriving home just late for dinner!

J. Ashley’s diary 1919 January 2nd-9th

January 2nd 1919, Thursday


January 3rd 1919, Friday


January 4th 1919, Saturday


Cold windy and wet.  Play hockey in the afternoon on the village green – quite a good game, and a change to have some violent exercise.  Visit The Proctor’s after dinner.

January 5th 1919, Sunday


January 6th 1919, Monday


January 7th 1919, Tuesday


January 8th 1919, Wednesday


January 9th 1919, Thursday


As usual wet and windy.  Course goes out in motor lorries for a scheme near Ham Street.  The most notable incident was the dive of a lorry (in which I, a couple of bicycles, and half a dozen other officers were) into a deep ditch – for no reason whatsoever.  Result no injuries – but a fearful mix up inside the lorry!

J. Ashley’s Diary 1919 – 1st January

I’ve been enthralled by this diary since I found it this morning and wish I knew more about the writer but hopefully I will manage to research that in time.

The diary of J. O. H. Ashley Captain RGA this volume is for the year 1919 (I managed to find two more in the boxes for the 1940s).

Entry for January 1st 1919 –

J. O. H. Ashley diary entry 1st January 1919


The new year finds me again in No. 1 Tin Town, well into the 28th. BC’s Course.   Meet one old acquaintance, Watkins, who was in my term at the Shop.

I did not sit up to see the New Year in – there not being sufficient social inducement in Lydd.

However to-night on the invitation of Lt. Bevan RAF go round to the Guest-night dinner at the Balloon School.  A very jovial dinner – the most noticeable feature of it being hte endless series of Toasts!  Of course I was let in for a speech on behalf of hte guests adn the R.G.A!

A fearfully wet and windy night such as only Lydd can produce.