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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Diary Entry - 19th February, 1917

Bee: The thaw has set in properly and mud is coming fast. Had a great tidy up as the Corps General was reported to be coming round. Eventually came round and, when he saw that most of our gun pits were more or less knocked about and a good many shells going over, he asked, 'Do they shell you much?' Bromley, the captain, said, 'Yes they do - we have had six guns knocked out and two billets hit direct.' With this, he went straight on, not troubling much about the battery. Had a great time this morning trying to drain the position. I had to go to the infantry battalion as liaison officer this afternoon. The Middlesex are in and are having a hell of a time tonight. At twelve o'clock they were not [illegible] where our point line ran. They have had an awful time. The battery padre and doctor came in tonight about eleven p.m. after being lost for 24 hours. The casualties have been pretty heavy. The Germans spotted them when they were relieving and knocked them to blazes. They told me that one of our people who is supposed to have been a spy deserted two hours before the attack and told the Huns. They, of course, were ready waiting and half a minute before zero opened on the South Stafford. The latter lost all except two officers and 40 men.

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