Capt. Charles Leslie Roberts
by cyngast moderator
I think the C.O. here is Charles Leslie Roberts. Not being sure, I decided to google him and found something quite interesting. Before joining the Machine Gun Corps, he was in the King's Own Royal Regiment and on that unit's website there is an extensive collection of his photographs. http://www.kingsownmuseum.com/ko1769.htm There don't seem to be any taken in France or Belgium, but the ones I have looked at--there are 230 of them--show scenes of the 10th King's Own reserve camps as well as the officers' training course at the Machine Gun School at Grantham.
There are also some personal photos. Some of these show a woman referred to as "small child" which possibly explains the reference on this diary page Image AWD0003ikz to a coming visit by a child. Amazing to think this could be arranged! This page was the first one I saw in this particular diary, so if anyone has a different explanation to that cryptic comment, please fill us in!
by ral104 moderator, scientist
I'm not sure about the children mentioned in the diary - it seems like he's moved billet pending their arrival, so I wonder if they were displaced local children.
Fantastic collection of photographs!
That's what I initially thought, too, although they are pretty close to the front near Wytschaete in the spring of 1917. I wouldn't think that there would be civilians still in that area at that point.
I suppose it's one of those mysteries that we'll never solve!