Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. III. (3 February 1917 to 9 May 1918)
They sent a Staff Officer with me to III Army at BEAUQUESNE but then we were unable to get much satisfaction. we were told our H.Qs were at ACHEUX, but they had no objection to DIV. H.Qs. establishing itself at DOULLENS to superintend detraining & concentration of the Div which will take place in rear of line BERTRANCOURT, BUS LES, ARTOIS, AUTHIE (latter instructions recd by wire timed 8.25.p.m) At DOULLENS met Col RAPHLF A.Q.M.G & he suggested that we should make 5th Corps School at VAUGHELLES - this I decided to do & arrived there 4.45.p.m. I had a look over the ground (the old ground used by us for tactical exercise without troops last July when weve had the scheme for defending VARENNES) I am bringing all the Engineers into this camp, which is very comfortable & convenient, but was apprently left in a deuce of a hurry by the School - all sorts of things lying about. It has been a wonderful day, the sights on the Road (God grant I may not see much more of it) people leaving with what they can carry away old women young women & children worn out troops coming out of a weeks battle, our own fine boys going into it. The Roads full of motors & transport, steam rollers & labour Bns are retiring from harm The position is more reassuring though ALBERT has fallen line runs from there N to AVELUY to BEAUMONT HAMEL & E of HEBUTURNE & then pretty well on the old line. South of ALBERT the line runs DERNACOURT, MERICOURT, SAILLY, CHIPILLY. Our men have had an awful time holding the line. Divisions having to be thrown in as they arrived. The New Zealanders aid line filled a gap & made ground yesterday [Page] 175.