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Monday, 2 April 2012

Diary Entry - 1st April, 1917

Walford: During the night it rained fairly heavily and was cold and dull looking when I turned out for stables at five forty-five. At ten a.m. Bailly, Siggers and Hoyland set off for the guns with a party of gunners to work on the position. I rode over to Chateau de la Haye to see about some telephone wire for Bailly and found the Canadians very hard to squeeze anything out of but eventually got a drum of D3. While watering in the afternoon it blew up into a regular blizzard and snowed for about fifteen minutes.

Bee: Frost last night. I came up to the guns with Claudet and a party of fifteen men on horse. It was a longer way than I thought – about eight miles. And is the other side of St Clair. It took us two hours to do. The last two miles of road is made of sleepers laid on the surface and very slippery. There are hundreds of guns up here. Our position was built by the La Hore [?] Division and consists of six gun pits without any accommodation for men, with mud all around – a cheery spot. The whole brigade are in line, we being the right hand battery. The pits are built of small red cupolas sunk low in the ground so there is very little crest in front of us to hide the flash. We are right behind the Arras Bethune road. The men were kept busy cutting camps in front of pits to let the guns in. There are a tremendous lot of light railways round here, with petrol motors. It is wonderful what a big load they can haul. Our position looks fairly peaceful - very few shell holes about. But a good many anti aircraft shells came to earth about here.

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