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Saturday, 2 July 2011

Diary Entry - 2nd July, 1916

Nothing much done except more slaving on the mine in the afternoon, putting up sets to keep the roof from falling in. If could only describe the new Mess, which is recognised as the best in France. To begin with, a tremendous amount of earth was excavated from the side of the bank, this took some considerable time as the men used to get in behind the bank where they were not seen and sit down by the hour. After a lot of agitating the first three sections of cupola were put in and finally about a fortnight later, when the banks had several times slipped in, the eight sections were finally put in - the dimensions are 16 feet x 33, there is a partition in the middle of the compartment and we use one room for messing and the other as a general smoking room. The entrance is by a long passage which also connects up with the cookhouse and there is a mine shaft dug in off the passage. The cupola walls are painted black but each end, which is lined with corrugated iron, is painted white. The floor which consists of 9 x 1 1/2 has canvas over it while in the general room there are two carpets. A beautifully padded liver scorcher reclines in front of the fire, made of 9 x 3, there are four fan lights in the roof to let the light in. The whole Mess is to be covered with a concrete roof to be a foot or so above so as to burst anything that might happen this way. There are a most wonderful set of photos already adorning the walls, which add brightness to the place.

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