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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Diary Entry - 25th February, 1917

Walford: Attended stables in the morning and rode to Senlis in the afternoon to draw from the Field Cashier. On the way in, I rode along with an RE Major, who informed that the Bosch has evacuated his front line before Pys and our infantry were following him up and trying to get in touch with him. There was also a rumour that he intended evacuating Bapaume and going back as far as Cambrie, to a cement line, which he has made very strong. The idea seemed to be for him to shorten his front so as he could draw more men, probably for a big offensive against us on some other front. Serre, Pys, Miraumont all reported evacuated. Barrett, a trench mortar officer was posted to the battery to assist as there were only three officers in the battery.

Bee: Things are fairly buzzing this morning, orders and counter orders. The battalion are moving up, Brigade HQ have come in here. Our line is now the other side of Miraumont and Pys. On the left they meet very little opposition but we were held up by machine gun fire. The 41st Brigade are moving up their guns today - took the piece out and put the carriage on a truck brought on the railway. The fog lifted about two pm and the sun came out. The plane were all up very eager for information. It has been very quiet all day as we were not allowed to shoot as no-one knew how far we had got forward. Oakley was up forward all day with Scott, trying to get information. Captain S[illegible] 17th Battery was also out and had a party of six signallers with him, who were all captured. He must have been awfully careless as he pushed up in front of the infantry and we know the Hun only had patrols out as connecting files. We hear that we have taken Serre without any opposition. It seems strange, as I always thought it would be a strong point and even worse than Beaumont Hamel.

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