December 25, 1918
Excerpts from the diary of Green Howards soldier, Stanley Harrison, spanning Armistice day 1918 to the first peacetime Christmas for four years.
Wed. Dec 25th Xmas Day. Breakfast, bacon, tomatoes. Had walk round quay in morning. Pork, spuds, beans & Xmas Pudding for dinner. Pudding as good as I have ever tasted. Issue 35 cigs, sweets, dates, pipes etc. Queen Alexandra’s Xmas Fund for the Troops. Impromptu concert in afternoon. Hillier clog dancing on the tables while practically top heavy. Electric light finished. Bon. Tea, cake, jam roll, jam puffs; sausage roll (conspicuous by its absence) bread and JAM. Not at all bad. Cake was OK. Another concert in evening. Officers condescended to come. 99% of fellows tipsy owing to double rum issue etc. I wonder how Xmas Day was spent at N_ and Nottm. Only thing we want is our Mail to finish Xmas. Mr. Plumpton (7th Platoon) Officer murdered by a Ruski (unknown) near cinema. Pockets emptied, Sam Browne & revolver stolen also Jack boots. Everyone truly sorry as he was really decent officer. All the lads, including me, anxious to go on a raiding party to avenge his death. Why won’t they let us go? Jolly hard luck on Xmas Day. He leaves wife and kiddies so I understand. Enjoyed the day fairly well, but oh for next Xmas.
You can read more about the murdered officer mentioned by Stanley here.
This is the last entry we will be sharing from Stanley’s diary. We hoped you enjoyed reading about what happened to this particular soldier after the armistice.
Our special exhibition, Hostile Environment: the British in Russia, will help you understand this little known part of post-war activity. Please do come and visit us.