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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Diary Entry - 16th March, 1916

At eight a.m. I was aroused by a large crump which seemed to have burst just outside my billet. Three or four more came over before I discovered that they were bursting right up at the battery. They looked about 20 or 30 yards over and I did not worry much more about them. Splinters about five pounds in weight were falling very heavily around the billet. At breakfast, I mentioned the fact that shells had been bursting in the vicinity of the battery and so, after breakfast, the Major strolled up, as he usually does. After breakfast, I saw Bates, who told me that the battery had had a warm time, but I thought it was exaggeration when he said they all fell within a 30 yard radius of the battery. About ten thirty, I strolled up and, on approaching the position, one could see nothing but chalk smothered over everything. Suttie and Kellagher had all hands on, filling in shell holes. Some of the hits scored were one plumb on the officers' dugout, which bulged the passage in a bit, one on an ammunition dugout to the right of 4 and about seven other hits on the position from No. 2 onwards. The wires were blown to pieces, especially the new electric ones, which had just been put up, and the place was a mass of big 5.9 shell holes. No one was hurt, luckily, but I think a few were shaken. It was simply providence that they never hit a dugout full of men or a gun pit with ammunition in it.

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