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Monday, 9 January 2012

Diary Entry - 9th January, 1917

Walford: It rained all night and, as is usual under such circumstances, we were almost submerged in the morning, as the water simply runs down the stairs - and down the mine shaft when our floor is covered to about one inch in depth. Thalborn made a hurried round in the morning. Bailey attempted to cut wire with 113 rounds. The 15th about midday had an armour piercing pipsqueak blow a hole in the side of their No. 1 gun pit and the detachment inside got off with only one man singed. Every day Bosch shells Courcelet with big and small stuff and occasionally he shortens up onto us.

Bee: Started off soon after breakfast to Zollern Trench where the right OP is. It is the most godforsaken OP I have ever set eyes on. You cannot even sit upright in it and it is miles behind the line. While the signaller was testing the line, I tried to improve it by digging out. The mud and wet up that way is unbearable. Anyway I dug a foot of mould out and unearthed all sorts of smells and came home fed up as have to sit in it all night. Got Walrond to ring up the Colonel and he asked if I could go to our own OP, which is much nearer the line and more comfortable. It is an old Bosch dugout which has been knocked in that we are gradually clearing out and it fairly talks. The ground round about outside is a mass of corpses just covered with earth and that's all. There must have been some heavy fighting to take it. The only trouble is it is in full view of the Hun and he shells you when going there and coming away. We worked on it until midnight and got it fairly presentable inside. But there is still a lot of dirt and stuff to get out. They have issued us with food container things which strap on your back, after the style of a thermos but much bigger. They hold enough for eight men – very good things.

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