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Friday, 13 April 2012

Diary Entry - 13th April, 1917

Walford: Stayed at the position all day, expecting to hear word of a move. Siggers who had gone to Hill 145 on the previous evening returned about five p.m. During the day we took Givenchy and Lenz Ancre line (a line of trenches) without any opposition.

Bee: Today was quite fine and it really looks like clearing up a bit. Good news is still coming in about the show. Walrond and I went up to Hill 145, across country, which makes an awful difference to the distance. First of all, crossed the old Hun front line, where we had to cut wire before the show. I was greatly surprised to see what a good job we had made of it. There was not a stake standing. You could hardly recognise any trenches behind his front line, they were merely a series of shell holes. He must have had a hell of a time from our heavies. I did not see a dug out that was not completely smashed. And that country was one mass of dug outs and mine craters as it was ground they took away from the 47th Div. I have never seen any ground that was as completely knocked about by shell fire. Trones, Delville and these places are not in it. No armour in the world would stop the old 9.2 inch. There were some shell holes which had wrecked dug outs and left miniature precipices - holes you could have lowered an 18-pound gun down 10 feet without touching either side . There are some ghastly sights - our men have not been buried yet. And I am sure these tunnels we had here must have saved thousands of lives. I was surprised to see what a wonderful view he had all over our country and cannot imagine why he never shelled us more at the Batteries. The top of the hill is pounded to bits and the view that meets the eye when you get to the top is wonderful. The Hill goes down very steep on the other side and then opens into a huge plain. Lens looks no distance away. Village of Vimey seems untouched. And, except for a few guns shooting onto the hill, it was quite quiet. The Infantry told us the last Huns they saw were moving back over the plain in small bodies yesterday afternoon. He has evidently set all his dug outs on fire as you could see smoke coming out of the ground. From intelligence, they were bringing up reinforcements but did not expect our attack until a while later.

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