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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Diary Entry - 28th February 1917

Walford: In the morning I woke - or rather I was awake most of the night and waddled out about six a.m to find a thick mist hanging over the earth. Considering the circumstances, I was feeling very fit and, except for the smell of human excreta that seemed to follow me about, I was quite happy. About ten a.m. I was just going up to Grundy Trench (our support line) and met Durand on the same errand, so strolled over the crest with him. The infanteer officer who was to have guided us seemed to know very little about the track, so we hit out in the direction we thought it was. We arrived all right and found an infanteer OP and asked him what he had seen of interest. His information about the wire which could be seen in places through the haze was of little use. So we wandered round looking for a position to run a wire to. During the course of the morning, I wandered back to see our new position and found the men busily digging and building platforms, the position was in No Man's Land, in a valley which ran off the Dyke Valley, I think. The whole brigade were here and it looked bad for us if the Bosche shelled us, as there was no cover. Dean relieved me about five thirty p.m, being late, and, as it was almost dusk, I and my signallers set out across country to try to race the light. We soon lost our way and never knew where we were until I hit the wire on the north of Bapaume road and discovered we had gone some one and a half miles out of our way. I knew it was hard to find one's way over the waste of shell holes, but I thought I knew the country well enough to hit a track I knew but was deceived and realise now what a time the infantry had in finding their posts at night. We eventually got in about seven thirty p.m.

Bee: Still very misty. Woke up with a stiff neck and feeling rotten. We have all hands on deck building a new position about a mile further ahead. Everything has to be carried there on pack horses. Have a miniature wagon line here at the battery now. I got the fore carriage of an old GS wagon, which I think ought to come in very handy for transporting material. A 60 lb came in here last night and has made a nasty mess of our position. Hear the Huns are blowing up the crossroads, wells and mining dug outs, also building traps for the dug outs.

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