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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Diary Entry - 12th January, 1917

Walford: A wet afternoon and my turn to go to Mase's post. As I left, I met Siggers and Suttie on the tram lines. The former was bringing up some ammunition on the railway, the latter had come over from Englesart to see our position and stop the night. Oh, no, he had just arrived back off leave,and was stopping a night before going as Bde Major to the 63 Division at Beaumont Hamel. I just got to the end of Courcelette when Bosche opened with 4.2" and I thought it was safe enough but, when going over the open, he put an airburst over and I ran for cover and waited till he stopped. It was an awful tramp to the post and the mud was beyond imagination and, of course, it was so dark you could not see your hand in front of your face. We eventually reached there and I relieved Wynne Williams. There was no infantry officer there and the platoon were relieved that night by the 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

Bee: (12th and 13th January): Very cold, still trying to snow. Fooled about trying to drain the position and make a path and do odd things in the Mess. Had early lunch and then went on to Left Battalion HQ as liaison officer. The place is not far from here. It is up what is known as Dyke[?] Valley, a place which is always shelled. The dugout is a huge one and is still being enlarged. At present it holds 250 men, but will hold many more when it is finished. It is being built by the tunnelers as there is no mining in the front line. But they have not made much of a job. The strutting is very poor. The HWI [?] are in at present and only came in the night before last and have lost all their rations, poor things. Tonight they had seventeen officers to feed one way and another.

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