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Dad's Diary - Book Three

1.11.1915 - 16.12.1916

Being a true account of his trails, troubles etc. by himself this book was commenced in continuation of two other volumes on the 1st day of November 1915. The war having then been on 1 year, 2 months 26 days.
Our position then 2 kilometres west of Ypres midway between the Vlamertinghe & Dikkebus near the village o.

Mon. Nov 1st
Turned out in wagon for Ypres to get bricks, for the horse lines, it fairly poured with rain most part of the time we were out. Everywhere & everything is sodden and covered with mud. Tonight I am on Picquet it is still raining. My teeth which have been troublesome lately, are jumping fine, I shall have to have 5 or 6 out after the war. 3 went on leave.
Tuesday 2nd
Another lovely day plenty of mud and rain. Our dugout sprung a leak, we got a fresh covering of corrugated iron sheets and put on getting wet through doing the same. Exercises this morning, poor old horses are going through it again this winter, a lot of them won't see it out, they look a bit off now. It is very cold.
Weds 3rd
Name & address taken for leave, roll on just to get out of this hole for a few days back into civilisation again. This weather is awful, however we will stick it through the winter I can't say, we will be lucky if we get away with rheumatism and such like. We did get a few bursts of sunshine today. Germans shelled R.E. dump just in front of our guns, killing 7 & wounding several more. They also put a few into Vlamertinghe and neighbouring country.
Thurs. 4th
Weather still changeable still very watery. Our stables are nearly finished. The enemy dropout a few shells about during the day. We hear a bit of an attack towards the north of Ypres.
Friday 5th
Guy Fawkes day, what a day to burn the Kaiser and a few of his heads, we heard this morning that he had been assassinated, but believe its to good to be true. Adamson goes on leave, soon be my turn now. Weather a slight improvement on the last few days, still plenty of mud about though. The aeroplanes took advantage of the fine weather to have a few duels to amuse the troops. We saw one brought down yesterday but don't know if an enemy or one of our own. Letter from Poll tonight all going well.
Sat 6th
Exercise as usual. Rotten weather. Germans put over a few rounds, doing little or no damage.
Sunday 7th
Day of all days, going on leave. Inspected for lice by Doctor. 40f pay arrived at H.A.R. at 6pm, spent miserable night there slept in a draughty corridor till about 3 am, left by lorry 4 o/c for Poperinghe, after a long weary journey we arrived Boulogne about 11 am left by mail boat 12.30 arriving at Victoria station at 4.50. Got home about 5.40 found all well.
Sunday 14th
Made up in Y.M.C.A hut CALAIS . Leave over, had a most enjoyable time journeys to and from being the worst part. We left Vic: about 7.20 yesterday, on arriving at Folkestone found we could go no further that night, as we were kept on the boat in harbour all night. we left this morning for Calais, and we don't know when we are going to move from here. We have been pushed all over the place. I now hear we are going to leave for our destination at 9 o/c.
Mon. 15th
Back once more, had another rotten journey up on the rail. Got into Poperinghe at 4 o/c this morning, walked back to Bty. about 8 mile, I've had a sleep all day since. Tonight the Germans put over some heavy shell. We returned the compliment with our heavies. weather fairly decent.
Tues. 16th
Am settling down again. There has been great activity among the artillery on both sides, poor Ypres still gets shelled unmercifully. We hear rumours of a naval engagement but don't know what for certain.
Weds 17th
Hailstorms and rotten weather generally. Germans send over rather a lot of heavy shell. Aeroplanes up in spite of the rough weather.
Thurs. 18th
Hard frost this morning, had to break the ice to get a wash. Fairly bright day, some exciting duels in the air. Aeroplanes dropt bombs in our rest camps. Did not see any planes come down, worse luck. Heavy artillery firing during the day.
Friday 19th
Poperinghe today with wagons, roads rotten for travelling being frosty Denige fell off his horse nearly under motor lorry. Heard from Will & Poll. E had a daughter on Sunday 14th. Dished out with gloves.
Sat 20th
My old horse (29) gone sick. weather still fine overhead but rotten below still plenty of mud about. Heavy artillery firing during the day. Toothache bad got a nasty cold.
Sun. 21st
Weather frosty but fine. Working on horse lines all morning, Ypres for bricks in afternoon. What a place that is, the Germans keep shelling it. I see fresh holes every time I go in. An infantry attack was on this morning lasting about 1/2 hour. No news, fairly quiet otherwise all day. J.Bull & Press arrives Letter from Poll (5 go on leave)
Mon. 22nd
Very cold, frosty and foggy, broke ice to wash Ugh! Fairly quiet along the line hear our people took some trenches in the attack I heard yesterday.
Tues. 23rd
Brought guns out of action this morning, going down to first line for a rest. Very cold still. Plenty of red tape attached to our moving.
Wed 24th
Hard frost. Harness cleaning all day. Noting extra occurred.
Note Zepp went over early this morning. Going east.
Thursday 25th
Poperinghe for granite. Very cold still. Went up to position where they making special dugouts. Last night our old billets were shelled, good job we had moved. My old mare died (29) Pnue:
Friday 26th
Spasms today, plenty of snow, rain, hail and blow. Went out with guns for a route march. A & D got stuck, it was lovely pulling them out of the mud in the snow. We all got nice and cold and wet. Felt very happy indeed, will be awfully pleased to get back to our little dugouts again.
Sat 27th
Another quiet day after yesterdays fizzer. hard frost. 5 went on leave.
Sun 28th
Went in Ypres for a load of bricks (10 Wagons) saw on passing our position that it had been shelled again, also chateau (Headquarters). The engineers lost five horses & H.E. shell dropt in among them, blowing them to smithereens. A good job it was about midnight and no one was about, as this is a fairly busy spot during the day. 2 of our wagons got stuck in the mud at side of road which become fairly hard on top with the frost. Fine bright day for aeroplanes of which there are plenty about. Both sides.
Mon. 29th
Nothing extra doing. Exercise this morning. Aeroplanes active. Picquet.
Tues. 30th
Out with guns, route march very muddy. Last day of month.
December Weds 1st
Exercise this morning, raining. Nothing much doing. Our Bty horse lines were shelled, hope they won't make a practice of doing that as we go back next week. hear we are getting 60 pounders. "A" sub took there guns to 71 Bty for exchange.
Thurs. 2nd
Went to a place on Crombeke Rd for brushwood for covering guns.
Wagons up to axles in mud. Got back about 5 pm. Raining again. Edg's: name took.
Friday 3rd
Nothing unusual occurred. The usual bombardment. Both sides.
Sun 5th
Ypres today for bricks. Nearly got strafed some heavy H.E. shell came whistling down the Rue de Lisle where we were and exploded near the cloth hall we picked 'em up "Jilde'. Edgeley and Knowie went on leave tonight.
Tuesday 7th
Nothing extra occurred we get the usual bombardment everyday. 7 siege Bty lost 3 killed today "Whizz Bang". Aeroplanes go up when weather is favourable, saw some exciting shooting today. weather very changeable will be pleased to get back to the dugout.
Weds 8th
Got parcel from Victoria Hale very acceptable. Out with the wagon to the billets at Bty.
Sun 12th
Nothing much doing, Germans shell vicinity of our battery with heavy H.E. wireless operator of 12 siege got his head blown off, several slightly wounded.
Thurs. 16th
Plenty of excitement today Knowie returned of leave. Got order to harness up double time to go to Godewaersvelde for 60 pounders start at 6 o/c Allemands heavily shelled the roads into Ypres, usual thing the last few days.
Friday 17th
Set off last night at 6pm to railhead (Godewaersvelde) for our 60 pounders. Arrived there about 12.30. Watered, fed and started return journey about 5 o/c back in billets about 11.30. We fixed up the horses and turned in for a sleep.
Sat 18th
Another nice day, what with one thing and another we are properly fed up. We set off at 8.30 with our old 4.7 for the railhead arrived about 1 pm, nothing unusual occurred during journey. Got back same night about 8 pm.
Sun 19th
Woke up by the picket this morning at 3 and told to prepare for gas attack. Felt the rotten stuff rather strong. A furious bombardment was going on, which seemed pretty general all along the line. heard A.D.M.S. has his legs blown off, several gas casualties among the infantry, not heard any result of the attack. At 3 pm we set off with guns for new position at Elverdinghe Pulled Ammo-Limbers into position after a lot of messing. Position found to be unsuitable so we left for billets again, feeling slightly fed up. We do get some square pushing and no mistake.
Mon. 20th
My birthday today. Nothing doing until 2.30 pm when we (right section) again set off for new position, near the one chosen yesterday. Vlamertinghe was again shelled but not with the 17inch the same as Sunday. Everything got into place alright and we returned to our billets. The weather has been very changeable the last few days. Plenty of rain.
Friday 24th
Kept up Xmas today. Fairly good dinner. Pork, cabbage, spuds: with daily news Xmas gift pudding and Daily Chronicle, sweets and fags.
Xmas Day - Sat 25th
Went for rations to the dump got wet through, very pleasant day 9 till 7.30 What a Merry Xmas.
Weds 29th
Our first casualty today. Reinforcements arrived from Havre at 11 o/c, enemy shelling heavily all round the country when they went to the battery, 3.5 inch dropt in the barn killing one of them. The first battery man to be killed in over 10 months mails very much delayed, haven't got over the holidays.
Thurs. 30th
Yesterday shelling of our billets (left half) worse than we heard first. 217 H.E and poison shells dropout in the vicinity in about 2 hours, we lost 3 killed and 3 wounded. Everyone more or less felt the effect of the fumes from the bursting shell. Killed Sgt Huster, Gnrs Hammond and Churchill. Samuals T.O.T. man was wounded sent to dock.
Friday 31st
We (right) half) moved into new position tonight on the Vlamertinghe-Ypres road much nearer than the one at Elvetinghe, everything went of alright. we got into billets about 11pm, didn't trouble about waiting up to see the New year in too weary.
1916

New years Day - Sat 1st Jan.
New years Day, hope this year will see the war finished. Usual shelling of the roads leading up to Ypres.
Wed 12th
Enemy Aeroplanes bombed the rest camps here. No casualties as far as I can hear. Nothing extra doing. Tomorrow we go back to our old lines after having a marching order parade. Spending all our time on harness cleaning today.
Friday 14th
Marching order parade for the Colonel. Everything wasn't quite the cut for him of course. After parade we went back to our old lines at Kreistraat-Hock. Had to set about making a fresh home as our dugout was full of water, managed it alright so we slept in it at night.
Sat 15th
Went to Locre for sand to the road through Dikebush. Germans heavily shelled all round the roads especially in the vicinity of 12 siege BTY: they blew up the magazine of the 9.2 BTY: a grand display of fireworks, no casualties.
Sun 16th
Ypres for bricks, what a change since I was up there last. It is still shelled by the Germans. The Cloth hall and the Cathedral are gradually disappearing. heard major Sgt.Radcliff and Hughes(Gnr.) had got D.S.O. & D.S.M.'s a feather in the cap of 'B' Sub to which Radcliff and Hughes belong.
Mon. 17th
More good news, Old man is putting us all on the top rate of pay, dating back to July 1st, 6 months back pay at 2d per day.
Wed 19th
Lovely day, aeroplanes out, both sides, several ducks. None fell heard several bombs were dropped by the Germans. Roads in the vicinity of Ypres & Vlamertinghe shelled.
Note Joe Slater had a near squeak 13 pndr: anti aircraft shell just missed him as he went across the horselines.
Thurs. 20th
Went Poperinghe for material for steel dugout, while there a bomb dropping aeroplane went over leaving a few souvenirs in his track, our guns and aeroplanes chased him off.
Sun 23rd
Days pass to Poperinghe. brought a couple of little things for the missis saw where German aeroplanes had dropt bombs during the night.
Tues. 25th
Poperinghe for coal.
Wed 26th
Ypres for bricks. The next field to our bivouac was heavily shelled with HE, altho' plenty of splinters dropout all round no one was hurt.
Thurs. 27th
Kaisers birthday, fairly quiet all round a few Percy's went into Vlamertinghe.
Fri 28th
Ypres for bricks.
Sat 29th
Ypres for bricks saw Harry Reeves who is in 122 H.B. for the first since Dec 1908. got hear where several of my old pals were. Hope I will meet some of them out here. Green envelope.
February Thurs. 3rd
Ypres for bricks. Beautiful morning, so the aircraft came out, saw a squadron come back from German lines, after making an air raid. At Konisstraat one of our wheels busted so we had a nice wait of 3 hours, until a fresh one was sent up. Saw Tom Cobb and old "Maroo" pal in 122. see in the papers there has been an air raid over half of England, and one in Paris.
Friday 4th
Very Quiet. Cold and windy. Nothing doing in way of aeroplane work No pay up. Letter from Poll.
Sat 5th
The Huns strafed the vicinity of Ypres pretty thoroughly today a few rounds dropout in the mill where the H.A.R observation party stops. Killed 2 wounded several. There were some casualties in Ypres also.
Sun 6th
Pay 5F. Ypres for bricks, had to leave a bit sudden as yesterdays shelling recommenced. saw 2 or 3 horses lying about and plenty of shell holes. During the day the enemy threw them about a bit. severely bending A.F.A. battery behind the white chateau and blowing up a grenade store and some dugouts. Hear the infantry had several casualties. Tonight we saw a large fire towards Vermageel heard the shell exploding and saw the cordite keep flaring up very white so suppose it was a magazine of some sort. Some H.E. shell burst just over our bivouacs, no damage.
Mon. 7th
Lovely and clear so the aeroplanes were active again. Two Allemands dropt bombs on Poperinghe, one was brought down, the other went back at top speed chased by our planes and A.A. gun's. One of ours had to alight in a field near here, I heard the pilot was wounded.
Tues. 8th
Another lovely day for the aeroplanes, during the morning there was several skirmishes overhead. A Belgian plane had to come down in a field close here. Five of our planes made a raid over the German lines.
Sat 12th
Heavy bombardment going on toward the Ypres canal all last night. This afternoon it started again very heavy, our Bty stood by. Aeroplanes very active.
Sun 13th
Ypres for bricks. Hear the Allies took 4 trenches and a lot of ground where the heavy firing was yesterday. Aeroplanes were out again this afternoon. Germans dropt bombs all around here, one fell just in the next field to us. Today we are 12 months out of "Old Blighty".
Mon. 14th
Shell dropt all around 108 and 47 siege, pieces also fell all around our bivvies. It was very windy all day. In the evening a big bombardment was going on S.E. of Ypres. A farm in which 12 siege kept Ammo: caught fire and blew up, another farm also set on fire by enemy shells, was burning same time.
Tues. 15th
Plenty of firing on both sides. Wind dropout, our aeroplanes were soon out and the Germans as well. Infantry going up to the trenches, big attack commenced at 8 pm to recapture trenches lost yesterday S.E. of Ypres.
(Vermoorgeele Way Hill 60)
Wed 16th
Warned at 11o/c to go to ordnance workshop on the Waton Rd., a mile or so the other side of Poperinghe, with elevating wheel. Arrived back at about 11.40p.m. saw the 6th Div: enter Proper: (fine lot I saw, the Guards Brigade). While I was away, our right half joined up with the left in the old position. Left half guns still out of action since the night before last.
Thurs. 17th
Nothing extra doing. 912 fired, they went into position during the night the heavies keep firing at intervals during the day. Mail up first time for three days.
Friday 18th
4 German aeroplanes went over this morning at breakfast time. One dropout bombs near Poperinghe. Wet all day.
Sat 19th
No mail today. Went to the dump for rations. Very cold and windy. Picquet tonight.
Artillery still very active, another 9.2 moved up near us, we will be stopping something one of these days.
Sun 20th
A day of much excitement, about noon the Germans started bombarding the 9.2 & 8 inch just a few yards to our rear, we got the order to stand bye to shift our line, after a time things eased down. I was making out the feeds for the evening stables, when it started again a 11 inch shell dropout about 10 yards behind the horses. We cleared out once to the first line, picketed the horses out, went up to battery for pay. Bridge was hit by splinter, not serious.
Mon. 21st
Went to old horse lines for harness. Nothing extra occurred, inspected the hole made yesterday. What a narrow squeak a lot of us must have had, it had dropout in middle of pathway, where we all would have been coming into stables five minutes later.
Tues. 22nd
Old lines for wood for lines and huts. Hard frost.
Wed 23rd
Frost and a lot of snow about. Germans shelling Konistraat Rd. and flattened out some houses.
Thurs. 24th
Fatigues, Nothing extra. Weather fine but cold, snow still about. Aeroplanes active.
Friday 25th
to Poperinghe for groceries from B.E.F.C. Rotten cold driving.
Sat 26th
Snow thawing fast. Expecting a big attack here shortly everyone preparing for it.
Sun 27th
Got 7 days No1 F.P. to be done at Ammo: Col:. Went down at noon, at night turned out for battery with ammunition.
Mon. 28th
More shell for battery. Not having a bad time for a prisoner, plenty of grub and smokes.
Tues. 29th
Big attack expected. Plenty of shell being sent up. I get plenty of work unloading lorries and taking AMMO. to Bty:
March Weds 1st
Sent up 12 wagons with ammo: Plenty of Arty: firing on both sides. aeroplane busy dodging round.
Thurs. 2nd
Bombardment started of about 4 a.m. Very heavy the 15 inch near here (Rheninghilst) fairly shook the ground, we keep sending up ammo: plenty to do unloading lorries & loading up wagons. Firing was kept up at intervals during the day. I hear our people have done fairly well and have taken two trenches and the bluff towards -Comines canal direction, where we lost a bit about a fortnight ago. Saw a lot of prisoners looking the worse for wear. About 150 all told.
Friday 3rd
Up again during the night for the expected counter attack, took up 8 loads of ammo:. this morning we took up 4 loads, two wagons broke down on the way, had to make two or 3 journeys with there stuff. Rigged them up so as to get back to the ammo:C:. Beastly weather. Hear we took rather more than the bit lost on Feb. 14th(The International trench and the Bluff)
Sat 4th
Thank goodness up in this show today. Return to the horse lines this evening, on the first wagon up.
Sun 5th
Back again to the old routine, not at all sorry either.
Tues. 7th
Poperinghe for coal. Everything is back to the old give and take. That was on before last Thursdays do. Hear the French are going great down the line. On our left they keep making a lot of noise.
Sat 11th
Rations today. Messing the last few days is rotten. Nothing much doing around here. A few aeroplanes and the heavies seem to be the only people who are never at rest. Lovely weather, sun is getting quite hot. See in the papers the French are still on the go at Verdun.
Mon. 13th
A beautiful day, went for brushwood to cover guns. A decent days outing. Plenty of aeroplanes about. saw a lot of the Guard Bridg: out on a route march. W.J. & S
Thurs. 16th
3rd Anniversary of my wedding day. The second I've had out here, roll on when this beastly war is over, we will have to keep up all these lost days. There is nothing much doing this part of the line. Weather still keeping fine. Strong rumours our brigade is going to another part of the line. We have been in this position 11 months, nearly time we made a move somewhere. Sunday 26th

Strong rumours of a move still flying round. Attack supposed to come off tomorrow morning early. Fairly decent day today.
Mon. 27th
Attack this morning, our battery got rid of a decent bit of "iron ration". Hear we took 3 trenches and about 300 prisoners. Two Regs: of the enemy I hear have given themselves up, fed up with trench life. we were lucky escaping without a casualty as the roads all around the vicinity of our guns where swept for hours, several dropping rather close to us when we were going up with the ammunition.
Thurs. 30th
Left section went off to Armentieres this morning. Half battery of 132 came in to relieve, don't know when we go, hear Sat. weather splendid.
April Sat 1st
No signs of moving yet. Plenty of heavy artillery firing 123 Bty: goat strafed. 4 Killed.
Sun 2nd
More heavy firing all around. aircraft very active. 4 Killed and 3 wounded in camp this afternoon by a shell found by one of them.
Mon. 3rd
Still Here. Weather keeping up fine. Aeroplanes out in dozens. hear the "Jocks" took a couple of trenches and 90 prisoners. Suppose to move out tomorrow morning at 8o/c for Armentieres won't be sorry, 132 is a naff battery. No bon.
Tues. 4th
Parade at 7.30 for our new position at Armentieres via Bailleul. Arrived after a lot of touring around country about 4.30pm, watered, fed horses tea'd up and went for a look round Nieppe. Our position is 1 section at the Pont de Nieppe and 1 sect: at Armentieres. Seems very quiet around here.
Weds 5th
Very quiet here nothing at all doing. Saw an aeroplane quite a strange occurrence I believe here.
Thurs. 6th
Canadians left everything downside up, we have a fine old mess to clear up after them. Nothing doing.
Sat 15th
Brought our gun out of action last night set off for Bailleul at 5am, arrived there at 7.10 back at horse lines at 11.30. 6 waiting F.C.M. a thing never heard of in Bty: before.
Thurs. 20th
Set of at 1pm for Bailleul to get our gun, arrived back in Armentieres at 5.30. Waited in street until 7.30 to take gun into position. We then brought "A" back to horse lines for "A" gun team to go off with next morning.. Finished 11pm Germans shelled Nieppe with heavy stuff.
Good Friday 21st
Hot cross bun day, what hores. Hear a spy was caught in Nieppe last night (a woman) we are having it very quiet here. very different to Ypres. Think I would sooner be there though, more excitement.
Easter Sunday 23rd
Anniversary of 2nd battle of Ypres. Lovely day. Enemy strafed the Church of Le Bizet, shell came over very regular. 1 about every 4 or 5 minutes, didn't hit the tower, other part of church knocked about awful. Lys rising surrounding country flooded.
Mon. 24th
"B" gun flooded out, put in another position. Fine clear day. aeroplanes out, German brought down at Ploegsteert, wing blown off. 3 other brought down during the day. A day out for our AA section. Battery under observation. 3 cases of German measles. Pay day.
Tues. 25th
Usual routine exercises etc., went to Armentieres for coal this afternoon weather still fine. Lys very much flooded over, country round here under water. Aeroplanes active. See 7 siege had been shelled out yesterday. Had to move gun, but had no casualties.
Wed 26th
Splendid day nothing extra doing. In the evening heavy bombardment started in the direction of the right section (Le Bizet) a lot of gas about.
Thurs. 27th
Bad news of last nights bombardment, two shell dropout near "B" gun. Poor old Humphries laid out, splinter just below the heart, never regained conscious "A" gun returned from Balliol.
Fri 28th
Went to Armentieres to burn Corp'l Humphreys. I was there to represent the drivers. Helped to bury five others of different regiments. 1 Australian.
Sat 29th
"B" gun team harnessed up for right section. Moved both guns into the old position were they were flooded out a few days back.
Sun 30th
Being Sunday the Germans did a bit of strafing, several H.E dropout in the vicinity of the horselines. we cleared out and stayed in Pont de Nieppe until it finished. Had a service at 5.30. Plenty of aircraft about all day.
May Mon. 1st
Weather delightful. Exercise, harness cleaning, order of the day.
Weds 3rd
Aeroplane (British) was brought down by the Germans this afternoon, both killed.
Friday 5th
Gas attack commenced about 5 to 8pm. Heavy gun fire near Bois Grenier Hooters and alarm bells sounded in Armentieres to warn people about gas coming over.
Sat 6th
Went with wagon load granite to Houplines, appears to be a warm corner, Journey of a bout 6 miles or so each way. Had a goo look at Arm:
Sun 7th
Nothing much doing. Aircraft out doing a bit of early morning exercise 5.30
Tues. 9th
Quite a change in the weather cold & wet. Went again to Houplines poured all the way, got a bit damp. Nothing exciting.
Wed 10th
Houplines again tonight, got back 11.30. Had to wait until dark in Arm: hanging about nearly 2 1/2 hours.
Sun 14th
Finished inspection for measles today, and we are allowed out in Nieppe.
Mon. 15th
Nothing extra today. Anzac's taking over all positions about here
Tues. 16th
German aeroplane brought down this morning. Right section heavily shelled. Jack Hutchinson hit back with splinter, gone to dock.
Wed17th
Still heavily shelling the right, all the men cleared out. Bits of duo shell coming over.
Thurs. 18th
Hear an aeroplane fell this morning. Going to pull the Guns (A&B) out tonight.
Fri 19th
Went and pulled A&B guns into new position last night. Heard all the news, road was busted up also the billets. 5.7 duo shell dropout near to the right underneath 'B' gun which was extremely lucky for our chaps. Spy caught at P de N this evening. To go on leave roll on my turn.
Sat 20th
One on leave tonight. I'm on working party to Houplines hanging about in Arm: for 2 hours. Germans put one of our 8 inch out of action last night. aeroplane went over about 10.30pm
Sun 21st
Lovely weather, nothing much doing. Germans steadily shelled an empty field with 6 inch H.E. for between 4&5 hours. A few were put into Le Bizet.
Tues. 23rd
Houplines tonight.. Lovely day. Plenty of aircraft about.
Wed 24th
Plenty of excitement last night, aeroplanes dropout bombs on Armentieres when we go through, and then shelled the town, as we past along the Houplines road we were shelled. this part of the road is under observation of the enemy lines and we were seen going along with the wagon. It caused plenty of excitement. An enemy aeroplane was brought down today by our guns.
Thurs. 25th
Working party tonight at the watertower, Houplines. Had a look at the German trenches. But was not fortunate enough to see any shelling.
Fri 26th
Several shell dropout this morning, just outside our horselines none hurt nothing much doing.
Sat 27th
Our right half fired this afternoon, and were heavily shelled in return. They will have to find a new position I suppose. I go lead to TWAG: 200 Anniversary of formation of Artillery. Letter from Sir D Haig read on parade.
Sun 28th
red flag day in England.
Mon29th
Turned out for two journey's to Steenwerck for rations. Wood and coal for 127 H>B>R>G>A coming out from home. Finished 6.30pm, 8 pm got order to standby full marching order.
Tues30th
9o/c went to R section. Brought guns and everything away. Started for somewhere at 2/30am. Passing through Steenwerck, Estaires and Bethune for Sailly-Labourse, stayed there until dark when we went into action 1 mile this side of Veremilles. got into horse lines at Drouvin at midnight, fixed up horses and turned in fairly done up. Grub as usual on theses outings very scarce. weather most disagreeable. I got wet through and dry again 2 or 3 times on journey. Things in the firing line pretty quiet. Expecting a big do around the Keohinzollern Pt., La Bassee, Loos and Vimy Ridge.
Wed 31st
Fairly quiet day. Here we are 91/2 miles from firing line the furthest by far that we have been since we entered the country. very beautiful part. Plenty of mines a few miles away, Noeux-Les-Mines.
June Thurs. 1st
Quiet day. This afternoon an attack started beyond Mazingarbe. Quieted down for a time, then broke out very violent about 5.30, the French lights were very numerous, including several red and green.
Fri. 2nd
Another quiet day, haven't heard what the do last night was. Went to guns with 4 loads of amm'tion. The attack last night was by the Germans on Vimy Ridge. No good we held fast.
Sat 3rd
Nothing doing. Little kid got his head blown off and another kiddie got badly scratched by an explosion in cottage next to horselines. A few letters from home arrived, first since arriving here.
Mon. 5th
Nothing much doing. About 200 F.D. Arty horses came dashing past our lines, that had stampeded from New Orleans? some miles away. Two or three drivers seriously hurt.
Wed 7th
Wind of another move tonight, preparations made for wagon teams to move out at 6 pm, gun teams at 7. Hear we are going further south.
Thurs. 8th
Went to battery last night, put all stores, ammo. etc and cleared out for a new position. weather very showery, got on the move at 11 o/c. Stopped in Noeux-les-Mines, and then on through Verquin, Maisnil to Bruay arriving about 9.30 am (21 miles) Bivouacked for the day. Orders, move off again at 9o/c tonight.
Fri 9th
Started off at 9 pm last night in the pouring rain. It continued to fall down during the whole journey, everyone getting pretty we through. Being dark, could not see much of the country. Passed through two fairly large towns, the first St. Pol arrived at our destination for today (Bougue maison 20 odd miles) at 3.30 am. Turned into sleep after baiting and fixing up horses. Move off again tonight same as yesterday. Weather a bit better this morning.
Sat 10th
Set off last night at 8.30 am. Fine night passed 21 siege, 9.2 caterpillars on the way. 12 x 40 are also going the same way as ourselves, did 18 to 10 miles bivied at Talmas. Only large place we passed was Doullens. 35 H.B.R.G.A. put up in same village for the day.
Sun 11th
Our longest journey, believe we did about 28 to 30 miles. Set of at 8pm arrived at Molancourt at 5 am. Hard going all the way, fine at starting, rain towards morning. Met and passed two or three siege & heavy batteries, hear 118th, 24th, 26th & 7th siege are hereabouts. Believe we are stopping here for good our guns are going into position overtowards Bray, the end of our line at present. Only villages or towns of any size, Villiers.
Mon 12th
Things quiet. Plenty of mud about, thought we had left it all in Flanders, but here its nice and thick, white.
Tues. 13th
Beginning to settle down. Rotten feeding, no money, no fags.
Weds 14th
Went to the battery this morning. Hauling stores all day. Went through Bray-sur-Somme. Position is in a valley a proper Gibraltar, Gunsby the dozen all sizes. Left section expected in during the night. coming by rail, lucky beggars.
Thurs. 15th
Daylight saving with us this morning. Went with wagon to BTY: this evening: "B" went into action. Back to billets 12.30pm. an uneventful day.
Friday 16th
turned out with wagon at 7.30a.m. for Bty:. Tonight up with "A" gun, all horse out today.
Sat 17th
Bty: Dragging store again today back at billets at 8 o/c. all guns in action. 750rds: of ammo: to go up today. several whizz-bangs dropt in valley. Found out young Currell from N.B.
Sun 18th
Up to Bty: with ammo today, 1200 rds: Plenty of work doing, little rest for us the next few days. Enemy heavily shelling the Bray main road.
Mon. 19th
Nothing extra occurred today, went to Bty: with ammo: enemy were shelling all the main roads.
Tues. 20th
All fairly quiet. Germans shelled our obser: balloon, and the main roads.
Weds 21st
Up to Bty: this afternoon with ammo: and stores. Heard Ellis O.P. had been sniped got it right through the back and chest. believed to have caught his lungs, very serious. Back mail arrived 4 letters a 2P.
Thurs. 22nd
Nothing extra doing. aircraft active. enemy still shell Bray-Cerisy Road.
Friday 23rd
Heavy thunderstorm today, simply dropt down. went to Bty: with ammo: Saw plenty of game and a fox. Went a new road round by Albert. shells keep dropping around. Very scattered trying to hit the balloons and main roads.
Sat 24th
Plenty of mud about again after the heavy showers, sun shinning again. Three of our ammo: wagons had a narrow shake, shells right in amongst them and no-one hurt. One team of remounts bolted broke up wagon and harness. Winkfields horse got a long scratch from a splinter. Bombardment expected to come off during the night or early morning.
Sun 25th
Lovely weather. Bombardment commenced early this morning and again this evening. Went this evening to the top of the hill to watch our shells bursting in the enemy lines around Fricourt. Germans not replying top any extent. Plenty of balloons up , all ours. Our guns brought down a German observation B today.
Mon. 26th
Bombardment going on no enemy returns. 19 A.B. Balloons up, the most I have seen. Picquet tonight (raining).
Tues. 27th
Plenty of rumours going around. Bomb: still going on, plenty of aircraft rotten weather.
Wed 28th
turned with wagon for Heilly, went thro' Mericourt Ville. Lots of rain.
Thurs. 29th
Quiet again intermittent shelling both sides. Rumours of all sorts very thick counted 24 observ: balloons up (all allies). Lovely day (Pay up)
Friday 30th
Heavy bombardment this morning, hear the infantry are attacking. can hear nothing definite as to results of last few days fighting, but believe we are doing well all along the line. Up to battery with ammo: plenty of strafing going on. Our guns are doing good work and fairly eating ammunition. got back 11.30p.m.
July sat 1st
Lovely day. Infantry "went over" this morning. Our artillery going at it as hard as possible:. About 100 prisoners came past our billets about 12o/c more to follow I hear.
Sun 2nd
Plenty of excitement during night. last evening one of our planes came down on fire. Engine and everything completely burned, got a souvenir. /went up to Bty: with ammo: at midnight. Heavy firing all along the line. prisoners coming down in batches of 100's. I've seen about 1800 all told. heaps of wounded both sides. Our people doing well. Have taken Fricourt woods and village and Mametz. I hear some guns and materials have been captured, with a /general and staff. No casualties in our Bty:
Mon. 3rd
Line a little quieter, expecting to move up anytime, only heavies left in Morlancourt. /guns nearly worn out, expect we will be going for new ones before advancing to new positions. Over 1,000 prisoners brought down today. weather still fine and warm. saw a kite balloon come down.
Tue 4th
Started off to put guns in new position a 3 o/c. Heavy thunderstorms made ground very bad for moving about. Took up guns to a position in valley near Carnoy-Montauban Road just behind our first line trenches of last Sat: saw several more prisoners and lots of deadly wounded. Arrived in illets at 5.40 very nearly fed up but its all for a good cause.
Weds 5th
Moving horse lines today into Happy Valley weather a bit better than yesterday. going nearer battery tomorrow. Saw 8 prisoners.
Thurs. 6th
Fairly quiet. In new horse lines all guns moved forward. Aeroplanes & O.B. balloons have a fine day for their work. Saw three prisoners who were caught in Kahki.
Friday 7th
Bombardment still going on. I hear we have taken Mametz wood. ?French still going strong. Plenty rain, plenty mud.
Sat 8th
Went up to captured trenches this evening at Fricourt saw plenty of Strafed Allemands. didn't trouble about souvenirs. some of the dugouts in the trenches are 20 & 40 feet deep. Bombardment still going on, went up to Bty: with ammo:.
Sun 9th
Still heavy firing all along line. Decent weather today. Troops coming in aeroplane (ally) came down on fire.
Monday 10th
Went to Heilly, saw 27 Div. coming in. Plenty of wounded and prisoners on the road. Aeroplane of ours and 2 German Ob. balloons came down. Still bringing in prisoners, all sizes and ages look awfully battered about. Our people still bombarding and slightly advancing but not having it all their own way.
Tues. 11th
Heilly again for remounts. Still a lot of troops coming up. Bombardment going on. saw more prisoners-
Weds 12th
Went to Bty this afternoon. Saw more prisoners and some captured guns. While we were in the valley several "crumps" dropt on the road, we cleared out at the double.
Thurs. 13th
Another doon, we are rushing up ammo: the troops keep pouring in, including The Bantams and plenty of Cavalry. bombardment heavy all round. Hear the Ridge has to be taken.
Friday 14th
Up with Ammo: at Midnight. Enemy were shelling roads and our valley (before avenue. Carnoy). One team of mules was hit. 3 killed no drivers hurt. Hear we have gained the objective and taken. A lot more prisoners gained this morning. everywhere becoming greasy and muddy. Bty with Ammo: This evening. Met dozens of prisoners very dreadfully knocked about. Our cavalry all over the country. Heavy bombardment still going on. Pay 10f.
Sat 15th
Bty with Ammo: Met more prisoners, some captured guns (3) our guns appear to be worn out.
Sun 16th
A.D.&D guns worn out waiting for some new ones. Fairly quiet today. Bantams still in the valley.
Mon. 17th
Went to Corbie today. 18 Kilo's from bray, arrived back at 9p.m. saw plenty of prisoners. French banging away on our right.
Tues. 18th
still getting a few rounds off our old guns. Plenty of rumours around. Bantams went into firing line tonight.
Weds 19th
Turned out at 5.30pm to move a battery of French Heavies. Went Thro' Fricourt and Mametz. Brought them into section just behind Montauban, came back thro' Carnoy. Plenty of strafing going on all along line, especially on the right.
Thurs. 20th
Finest day this week. Plenty of Aircraft about saw two planes come down (unknown) the Allies guns are now blazing away (9.20) we keep taking a few yards everyday saw some old guns & prisoners come down.
Fri 21st
Fairly quiet tonight a bit of a gas attack on, we feel it here 2 or 3 miles behind the firing line. Aeroplanes active again today. Last night the French had a bit of a strafe on to the right.
Sat 22nd
Fairly quiet all day. About 9p.m. a strafe commenced on the right (French) and carried on all along the line.
Sun 23rd
Changing guns. Maricourt, packed up ready to move horselines to Albert, false alarm plenty of rumours still going around.
Mon. 24th
Up to Bty with water cart, nearly got strafed, dodged 'em by a miracle. saw double engined aeroplane upset in trench. Moved 6 p.m. to new horselines near Albert 12 siege got severely beat by the Allemands today. Our new guns go into action. 15 inch near hear is making things warm for someone.
Tues. 25th
Moulon Vinir. Our easiest day for sometime, nothing to do except look after horses. Rumours our people had pushed on a bit more. Artillery are still banging away in the distance.
Weds 26th
Fatigues and fixing up new line. One of our Bty: men got hit in buttock with a splinter. (Carden) Heavy bombardment still going on. A few prisoners were brought our way (Albert) (Kitty's Birthday).
Thurs. 27th
Up to Bty with ammo: at 4.30 this morning went new way thro' Fricourt & Mametz Had a good look round, plenty of troops about, strafing going on. did nothing much today. Hear our people took a wood & some trenches.
Sat 29th
Nothing much doing. believe we still keep nipping a bit, by what the infantry tell us.
Sun 30th
Up with ammo: Nearly got done in by Mametz about a dozen H.E. came over, we cleared, unloaded, and then got shelled out of the valley. Our luck was in again. We dodged the splinters OK. saw one prisoner in Fricourt in charge of a Jock.
Mon. 31st
Fairly quiet, very warm, splendid weather but what shells. Aeroplane brought down over Albert. all sorts of rumours about Austrians.
August Tues. 1st
Still banging away with the guns. Hav't heard what's doing. Germans keep counter attacking.
Weds 2nd
Another scorcher. Up to Bty. with ammo: plenty of firing along the front 3 Germans brought down.
Friday 4th
Went up to caterpillar valley with ammo: for 120 siege (5 inch) loaded up at Becordel about 7 pm. got back 3 am. this morning. Saw plenty of old guns etc., left by the Germans when they went back. the more I see of the old German lines, the more wonderful I think our chaps were to get them out in so short a time. the old trenches and dugouts, gun pits and emplacements are so well thought out and well built.
Sat 5th
Big do on last night. Hear ours took a few more yards & prisoners up to Fritz trench with pit props for HD. Qtrs.
Sun 6th
Fairly quiet today. This evening the divisional band discoursed unto us more music.
Mon. 7th
Up to Bty: at 5 am this morning "A" guns lent 26 Bty: as 1 of theirs are out of action rather a hot corner of Mametz woods. A big do expected, heaps of troops & munitions going up.
Tues. 8th Morn
Sgt. Cooper Shoe Cook missing. Went with wagons to Death valley, shells dropt a bit close. Lost sight of these two, wagons came back, minus one left in a ditch. cooper & Cook turned up about 11 o/c after being buried in a shell hole for a few hours and being lost as well. Hear we have got Guillemont this morning.
Wed 9th
Nothing much doing. Up at the French Bty: this evening with props. Some strafing going on along the Front. (Poll's birthday) * see index content page.
Thurs. 10th
Fairly quiet today. King paid a visit to Fricourt & Mametz & captured ground. Plenty of gun fire going on.
Friday 11th
Very quiet day. Showery.
Sat 12th
Fine again. Captive balloon broke loose and drifted towards German lines occupants came down in parachutes. Aeroplane went after it.
Sun 13th
Our guns moving up towards Montauban. Position being made. 1/2day.
Mon. 14th
Our new position heavily shelled. Hector got hit on the nose with a splinter, one chap had his pocket blown off, old position also caught it hot this evening. No one hurt.
Tues. 15th
Up at battery moving stores etc. from new position to old (untenable), Aeroplane dropt 6 bombs right on gun pits. Heavy strafing going on all round Maricourt. enemy plane flying low, fired M.G at us on our way home this evening. (Dusk)
Wed 16th
Quiet today. Big attack coming off. Rumours various and plenty No mail.
Fri 18th
Guillemont taken by 17th division this morning.
Sat 19th
very showery. Up to Bty: with shrapnel at midnight. Saw about 200 prisoners being brought down. Nearly got broke up.
Sun 20th
Up to Bty: with ammo; 400 Rds. Fairly quiet our Bty: doing practically nothing.
Mon. 21st
Enemy bomb dropping planes came over. Dropt one just outside Albert killed 11 Australians, 33 injured. Our planes & anti guns drove them back.
Tues. 22nd
Up to Bty: with ammo: Saw some fine aeroplane scraps. Pulled French gun out of action, that had burst, took it to French ordinance yard at bray. return with new one to Carnoy. Got back to horselines at 3 a.m. - pay up.
Weds 23th
Quiet today. Plenty of Arty: work going on along the front.
Thurs. 24th
Art: going at it all along the front. Prisoners being brought down. Here Guillemont is taken at last. air raid.
Fri 25th
Picquet. fairly quiet. Went up to see Allemande prisoners. several could speak English.
Sat 26th
Up to Bty: last night with ammo: shell seem to be a bit scarce. Back at 2.30a.m. fairly quiet, except for the usual artillery strafe- 5th Div: in.
Mon. 28th
Up to Bty: with ammo: shells dropt in Fricourt siding just as we passed. No damage plenty of rain and mud about.
Weds 30th
Nothing extra occurring on the front. Hear Rumania has joined in. Rotten weather. Heavy showers - artillery.
September
Fri 1st
1/2 171 Bty: joining us today, making us into gun Bty:
That is the last entry in the diary going forward. The Book is now turned over and read on the reverse, back towards the first page.
Sun 3rd
Up with Ammo: at midnight. A big strafe going on, kept it up all day. Prisoners coming down. Guillemont is taken.
Mon. 4th
5 days No2 F.P. Feeling more fed up than usual Strafe still going on Ginchy taken and lost. Troops still coming in from coast.
Sat 9th
Standing by to move guns into new position. Big strafe going on all along our front, Ginchy to be taken.
Sun 10th
Moving guns into new position beyond Montauban and Berlag Wood. Not much of village left. Several siege Bty's moving up as well. Hear Ginchy's taken and being held. The guns out of 6 left in old position Carnoy Valley.Weather O.K.
Mon. 11th
Remaining two guns going up to new pos: tonight. Fairly quiet day hear our people took a village yesterday. Plenty of rumours see about 12 or 13 captured guns that have been brought down in the last few weeks are being put on the rail. Some where Belgian, cast at Liege '98, '01, '02 and some Bavarian or Russian. Probably some time back (1 Bayr Landstrum Art: Batt:)
Tues. 12th
On fatigues to Bty: at 4.30a.m. from old position, had a good look round the country which had been taken from the Germans on the push. Saw enemy plane come down on fire, beaten by one of our own planes. got back to horse lines about 9 p.m.
Wed 13th
Another big do being proposed for. Saw armoured caterpillars going off to front line and hundreds of ammo: Limbers and infantry transports. I went up with ammo: at 5.30 got back at 4 a.m.
Thurs. 14th
Today we moved into the vicinity of Mametz ready to go forward. Thousands of troops about.
Fri 15th
Big bombardment again on. went up with ammo: last night at 5o/c 600 rounds. roads were fearfully packed. We went only 100 yds at a time. Plenty of cavalry awaiting to go through. Heard this morning our men had taken Flers. Plenty of prisoners coming down. Lieut. dean & Nobby Clark killed up at O.P. post. Saw one of our balloons come down, observer dropt out in parachute. terrific bombardment going on all day. Standing by Gun teams.
Sat16th
Good news today. Hear our people have taken Thiepval, Cource Lette, Martinpuich & Flers, which cheers one awfully. Still standing by to move guns to Longueval. Picquet.
Sun 17th
9 a.m./ harness up to move guns into new position, below ridge at Longueval. Passed Bernalag Wood. came back by death valley. enemy were shelling Bazentin.
Mon. 18th
Beastly weather. Mud feet deep.
Tues. 19th
More rain. Infantry coming out off the trenches, look properly done up. (13&23 Gordons, Buffs, Midd's Durham's & several other reg8iments - parcel.
Weds 20th
Weather is a bit better today, but cold, windy & showery. bags of mud about enemy shelling all around tracks and roads.
Thurs. 21th
Went last night to move French Bty from Carnoy to Montauban. Miserable weather for the job, got stuck for two hours on the road, lorry broke down. Hear some causalities up at Bty Cpl Harvey & 1 Gnr wounded.
Friday 22nd
Up with Ammo: last night 1600 rds. Got back at 7o/c. Our people going to make another shove.
Sat 23rd
Heavy shelling going on both sides. Enemy sending over plenty of fire shell look very nice and all that. McLanofan leaves Bty: for « Lancs Bty: Weather much improved the last few days.
Sun 24th
Lovely day. Fairly quiet. Heaps of Ammo: going up. Attack tomorrow morning on Bapaune.
Mon. 25th
Lovely day. The strafe is going strong. Our troops doing big things. Cavalry standing by to go through.
Tues. 26th
Still fine. Hear we have taken two villages. The French, Combles and still going. Cavalry are through, saw our reserves go up at the canter. Our guns out of range, all standing by to move up.
Thurs. 28th
Maricourt - down with guns to be changed. Going on to Heilly next morning. Last night our horse lines were bombed by "German planes. None of ours were injured. 118 Bty: lost somewhere about 40 horses all told. Several P.F.A. & R.E. horse lines got hit and hundreds of horses were laid out. Good news from up the line. Hear Gueurdecourt, Les Boeufs, Morval, Thepral,? & Combles have been taken, and our troops are still going.
Friday 29th
10.30p.m. just back, no gun, went to Heill after loading up old gun at railhead (here) have to go again.
Sat 30th
Bombardment still going on. Aeroplanes still very active, especially the enemies at night, who have been over here the last few nights, /weather much improved. Pay 10 francs.
October Sun 1st
Weather changed again, more rain had to stand by for Heilly to fetch gun (cancelled)
Mon. 2nd
Rotten weather. Our still on a Bombardment. Hear Favcourt L Albany? Is taken strong. Rumours part of Thiepval & Combles retaken by Germans.
Tues. 3rd
Went off in the pouring rain for our gun at Heilly, got lovely and moist had to leave it at Becordel as it was not quite finished. Ordinance workshop moved up.
Weds 4th
Two on leave today, Good Luck, wonder how soon my turn will come. Ordinance again for gun, after mooching about there until 5o/c we pushed off home without it. Getting ready for another strafe.
Thurs. 5th
Same as yesterday, no gun, still being overhauled. Weather a bit better. Cavalry up.
Friday 6th
Another joy ride to Mericourt & Heilly for a different gun altogether started of 3a.m. saw leave train leave railhead. Got Becordel about 3p.m. went to lines still no gun.
Sat 7th
Standing by to fetch up gun all day, went off at 4p.m. drew gun from 'O' at Becordel. Pushed off for Bty:, got lost in the valleys. fine old time. Weather a bit off. Saw plenty of prisoners coming in believe we caught some German sailors. A lot of wounded about. Heavy strafing(Artillery)
Sun 8th
Rotten weather got beastly muddy & wet. Heavy strafe going on hear our people are doing well. No definite news.
Mon. 9th
Big strafe on this morning. Hear we are having a move, hope so. Parcel. Weather slightly improved. Plenty of infantry moving in & out.
Tues. 10th
Turned out at 5a.m., to pack up to move lines along to Uvula, the usual amount of fuss etc. before starting. Went into Bty with. On way back thro' death valley shell dropt just behind our limber, thought some of us were hit. Field Arty: lead driver was knocked off his horse dead. Just as we went into new lines another dropt 20' in front of us, we turned and went. Young Scottie got hit in the thigh. Two of 130 & 7th kents got hit as well. Lovely night, fairly quiet. Kipped on the ground.
Weds 11th
Had to scrounge round for materials for dug-out. Got fairly well dug in. Lovely day, no shelling. ?countless troops about ready for the next do. Our siege & heavies keep banging away. Aeroplanes active.
Thurs. 12th
Usual routine, our lines were shelled again this evening. We cleared out for a time, no one hit. Heavy strafe this afternoon. Hear village taken.
Friday 13th
Weather decent. Strafing still fairly heavy we had to clear out for the usual shelling, went down to caterpillar valley. Marvellous to see how our troops cleared the enemy out of such places so quickly. Our limbers were hit tonight by 5.9 shell blew them sky high.
Sat 14th
Moved up the guns this evening, to a position in front of Bazentin-Le Grand behind Flers, on the left of Longueval. Whizzbangs cleared us out of our horse lines for a couple of hours tonight. No damage.
Sun 15th
Moved up the remaining 3 guns this afternoon. Just after we left the valley's two 5'' dropt in the F.A. lines and killed 6 wounded 22. Our lines were left unstrafed today, the first time since we came into them. Big strafe going on this afternoon, supposed to continue through the night. A heavy dropt under one of 26's guns on our left and lifted it out of the emplacement. No letters today. It's a week yesterday since I had one from home. Weather fine,
Mon. 16th
Nothing much doing. Artillery just keep going. 4 tanks came into the valley going up to Bapaume. We still get shells over the horse lines, & clear our for a while. Turned out wet tonight. Went to Bty: with Ammo: An occasional shell came over and dropt on the new railway down in the valley.
Weds 18th
Rain and mud. Big attack expected. No shells over today.
Thurs. 19th
Rotten day poured all day. Allemande shell came over all day and night but went beyond us to the far side of Montauban. Saw about 150 prisoners brought down. Strafe going strong all day.
Fri. 20th
Lovely day but very cold. Aeroplanes of course took advantage of the fine weather. Both side were out, saw three Germans brought down over High Wood. Up with Ammo: French had a big strafe on this evening, our people just as usual, we got a few over our lines, but none stop't near us.
Sat 21st
Frost this morning, very cold. Up with ammo: Big strafe coming off. French are firing very heavy on our right. One of my horses (Bill) gave up the ghost, fed up, refused to get up out of the mud last night. Had to be shot.
Sun 22nd
Pay 10 francs. Frost this morning, bitter cold. 13 Wagons Ammo: up to Bty: heavy shelling by enemy towards Flers. Saw 4.5 H: Bty blown up. Australians coming in for attack on Bapaume.
Mon. 23rd
Cold and foggy this morning. Hostile aeroplanes bombed all round the valley during the night. 4th Worcester's had to clear out of their camp. An occasional whiz bang comes over us. Duff for dinner.
Tues. 24th
Plenty of strafing today. Up with ammo: today. Tanks in valley.
Weds 25th
Much the same as yesterday, up with ammo: one of our wagons lost two horses in the mud, wet.
Thurs. 26th
Up with Ammo: Plenty of strafing going on. The Huns still drop an occasional shell or two just over our horse lines doing on the whole no damage. Tank in the valley, as one goes up another comes up from behind the lines.
Fri. 27th
Up with ammo: Weather rotten. Shells keep dropping near lines.
Sat 28th
Shelled out early this morning. 1 killed, 1 wounded of the Lanc's heavies next up had to clear again at 2o/c for Edgehill, have to stop hear the night. Kip on floor of YMCA tent. Wet through and generally miserable, poor old horses.
Mon. 30th
Don't know when we move. Rotten weather. Mooching about. 8.30p.m. all horses aboard train, ready to push off, best kip we've had lately, fine and warm in the box's with the horses (pass Doullens & St Pol).
Thurs. 31st
Disentrained at midday at Sav Berlette. Marched to our new quarters near Habarcq. Plenty of mud about, but roads are good. Bty: about 7 miles away. Appears to be very quiet on the Somme Front.
November Wed 1st
Went up to Bty: 4 guns of which are on the Soughez side of Mont St Eloi. The right section are some where near Vimy Ridge. Things are very quiet, roads are good. We should have a good time here.
Sun 5th
Guy Fawkes day. Not having such a good time after all. We do get some rotten parades and marching about. Went to Frevin Capelle for a bath.
Mon. 6th
Rotten day. Rained all day. Plenty of mud here too. None gone on leave from here yet. Never hear any shells burst or guns fire here. Very quiet after Somme front.
Wed 8th
More rain. Feel miserable and fed up at the way we are treated, grub and everything is just rotten. Won't it be a pleasure to go home, roll on.
Thurs. 9th
(Got big boots out of store)
Fri. 10th
Went up to shift right section so that all battery is together. All night job of course. Plenty of mud about, Quiet time. (Lacy to Besedict)
Sun 12th
Fairly quiet here, but a heavy bombardment going on towards the Somme. Harness cleaning all the rage. Up to Bty: this afternoon.
Mon. 13th
Good news from the Somme. Still fairly quiet here. Up with ammo: weather fairly good list of parades for today. (see apendix)
Fri. 17th
Hard frost this morn: still harness cleaning. No one going on leave yet. Inspection by Colonel. Everyone extra fed up of course.
Sat 18th
Snow, the first this season. Out with the wagon. Rain to finish up the day. Chalk wagon turned out.
Sun 19th
Turned out chalk wagon. Fairly fine weather but cold.
Weds 22nd
(Pay) Inspection of lines by the General O.C. Divn: 1 Everything went of all right. Harness inspect tomorrow.
Fri. 24th
Went this morning to Bruay for remounts (about 25 Kilos). Had to come back bare back, oh my, got home about 5o/c. Two go on leave. Went through Aubigny & Haudain.
Sun 25th
Went to Frevin Capelle for a bath and change of clothes.
Mon. 26th
Went up to Bty: Bit of a strafe on. Our people blew up a mine.
December Fri. 1st
One the road somewhere, one gun, one wagon.
Sun 3rd
Aire. Arrived here last night after travelling all night. Gun for use in school of instruction. Rotten journey, but fine, cold. Fairly easy time today. Believe we go back tomorrow.
Mon. 4th
(Cauchy-a-la-Tour) Arrived here this afternoon from Aire on our way back to St Eloi, staying the night in an old barn. Picketed out horses. Plenty of grub. Hope to get in early tomorrow evening.
Tues. 5th
Set of about nine this morning. Put up for dinner at Gauchin-Legal got home about 5.30pm. Fed up and faille tired. Got a parcel from home.
Weds 6th
Pay. Find things warm under the new officer.
Tues. 12th
Name taken for leave, don't want to go for another week so as to catch Xmas at home. Three planes brought down yesterday.
Sat 16th
No sign of going on leave yet. Cold, weather wet and miserable. Men wanted for R.F.C. Gunners. Aeroplanes active today while fine.


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