The battalion war diary for December 1915 stated quite boldly: “engaged on Pioneering Work for the whole month” and proceeded to list everything the men had to do. Much of this work was in the trenches, which were exceedingly wet. Drainage was improved and the battalion actually revetted the east bank of the River Laies, facing the German lines. As it ran diagonally across the British trenches, it is no wonder that conditions were so bad and that there was a never-ending requirement to rebuild trenches and get rid of water. Nevertheless, there was time to have Sundays off for baths and rest. Even Christmas Day was a holiday, but under strict orders that there should be no fraternisation this time.