Saturday, 30 July 2011
The night was very uncomfortable as at one we were woken to cries of 'Gas', and, sure enough, it was quite strong too. On went helmets, and we wandered about feeling very miserable until about two thirty, when the wretched stuff lifted and we could take off gas helmets and breathe again. From one thirty to three thirty, we were to fire salvoes on certain lines, getting off 12 an hour, but, when the gas came, I think there was a big gap in the firing. At four forty-five the ball opened and we began a barrage of HE on the enemy's support trenches, firing three rounds per gun per minute. This continued for half an hour, then we lifted the barrage, adding to 4075 and firing at the same rate until six thirty, with shrapnel when the rate gradually slackened. The usual routine of fire continued throughout the day, only slightly heavier than usual. At ten thirty pm Armytage returned from his duties of Liaison Officer, spending the whole 24 hours in Trones Wood (Bois de Troncs), a very hot corner. It seems he scratched his way into the side of a bank, where he remained, with bullets and shells spitting round him the whole time. The news of the battle that has come back is not too good. Our infantry have got their objective all right, but the 35th Division infantry have been held up outside Guillemont and have dug in outside the town. The French, it is reported, are held up by machine-gun fire - it is reported the corps have taken 1,000 prisoners. And so the battle goes on.
Posted by zmkc at 09:23