(Felix Rooney is my great-grandfather. His diaries begin October 27th 1916. There is a short explanatory note at the front: “My original diary embracing the trip from N. Zealand to Egypt, Gallipoli & France was destroyed with all my effects when the Huns raided us in the mushroom at Armentiere in July 1916.”)
Anzac Day excerpt from April, 1917, a short slice of life away from the front:
Have hurt my foot so had a day off. Harry and I had a good day together. Weather getting good now. Battalion went into St Omer to-day. A few rums and cafe and turned in.
Had another day off. Taking it easy to give my foot a chance. Second anniversary of Anzac Day. A few rums and cognacs drunk to-night.
Feeling all right so went on parade this morning. We went out to where trenches have been dug to represent those at Messines, German and British. We made two attacks, taking the ridge, as we will soon have to do in reality. Got home about 4.P.M. Fine weather now.
The Battle of Messines in June went well, in part due to the extensive planning described here by Felix. I might post that diary entry another day.