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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Diary Entry - 10th April, 1917

Walford: Tuesday. Still blowing a good strong South Wester, with occasional snow storms making the poor old skins look very uncomfortable and tucked up. Hoyland and I took an afternoon's constitutional to the top of the ridge, where we sat under cover of a bank and, between the snow storms, watched Aix Noulette being strafed heavily with four twos. On returning, we received a note from the guns asking for Evans to be sent up that evening. The note also contained excellent news - 10,000 prisoners taken, 42 guns captured, cavalry through in strength at several places, enemy broken. This news bucked us up immensely as never knew they were attacking at Arras as well. We had Murdoch and Hortayne in to dinner but were rather disturbed on hearing from Sgt. Cowan of 71s that Major Durand was wounded and had been evacuated. Cruikshanks slightly wounded in the leg. It turned out tha, Bailly, Durand and Cruikshanks were in a shelter at the bottom of a captured crater when a four two landed at the entrance, killing several Canadians nearby and catching Durand in the face with the blast and a piece in his leg, also shaking the other two badly and knocking in the dug out where several men were taking cover. However, our joy about the prisoners and guns kept our spirits up all right.

Bee: A brute of a day, cold wind and it snowed in the afternoon. Took things fairly easy this morning.After lunch, Claudie and I started off for our old zeropoint, a mine crater well behind the Hun old front line. I have never seen such sights before - Trones Wood was nothing to it. The mud was something awful. How the infantry with fighting equipment on got through it God knows. But what we saw today tells a bitter tale. Even we, with nothing to carry, had to pull each other out at times. Just before we got to the crater, the station was hit by a 4.2 - in it were two Canadians. It wounded four, besides wounding Major Durand and slightly wounding Cruikshank. This crater used to be in our old front line before we went into Ablain St Nazaire. It was lost by the 47th Div.

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