February it seems was a month of trench routine.
The 1st Battalion was re-subordinated from 7th Brigade to 85th Brigade, very much a Home Counties brigade consisting of East Kents or Buffs, Middlesex, Royal Fusiliers from London and East Surreys.
The brigade had reputedly had a tough time further north and had moved south in order to recuperate. Routine consisted of spells on the trenches followed by time in reserve and at rest. The battalion were congratulated by the Corps Commander who said: “It’s a real tonic to see you men. Here they are just out from twelve very hard days and nights and are hard at it playing football, and all look in the highest spirits…”
Though there were no big events, each day in the trenches was fraught with danger, uncomfortable, often wet, often heavy with mud. Casualties mounted day by day – either through enemy action, disease or accident.
On 1st March, for instance, the Battalion at rest, three members, Privates Hedderwick and Gunn and Sergeant Corbett-Brown, starred in a concert given at Locre for the whole brigade; all three were killed very shortly after.
‘The HAC’s 1st Battalion in the trenches, winter 1914-15’