Item 03: Walter Bruce Rainsford diary, 1 January 1916-31 December 1916 - Page 154
shacks now available. Our number of beds has had to be reduced – a rather awkward thing when such large numbers of sick are coming down the line and the hospital ships cannot evacuate across to England from Boulogne.
I was in Boulogne Christmas Eve. Things were very quiet although the lighting restrictions had been relaxed for 24" & 25" Dec. to make it
things a little more cheerful. Special Xmas leave had been granted to as many of the French Troops as possible and there were a fair number of "Poilu" about. A custom that is observed here on Christmas Eve each year is for children, ie. Street urchins, gamins and the like to carry a little paper lantern called a "quonel" and go from house to house and café to café asking for sous. They looked very pretty flitting about everywhere.
On Christmas day (yesterday) everything was