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Friday, 20 April 2012

Diary Entry - 20th April, 1917

Walford: Friday. Went up to the OP in the early morning, a place which used to be an old Bosch gun position having three 90 mm guns standing in the pits. These are old cannons built for the Franco Russian war and they have no recoil springs and a rotten old breech. About ten a.m. as there seemed to be a lot of people crawling about the position, I enquired what they were doing, the reply was that their Major and Colonel had come up to look around the ammunition and see if the guns could be used on the Bosch. Luckily, as no touching off cartridges could be found, the idea was abandoned. Bailly arrived about eleven a.m. and fired away till two p.m. when I suggested, as his firing was not of an important nature, the men might break off and have lunch.

Bee: I started out at three a.m. this morning and tried to get some ammunition wagons down to the forward position. It was a pitch dark morning and very hard to see anything. The road we had to go on was never very good - it has been shelled so much. And there are also Bosch ammunition wagons in the middle, which have been knocked out. There is one wagon which must have been going at a great pace as the [illegible] one horse are at the top of a 6 foot hole and the body is on the bottom. The Hun has been shelling a lot all night and did not stop until five a.m. He got five more direct hits on this road. Well anyway I did not get very far, only about 500 yards and stuck. So I eventually got out and came back, transferred the ammunition to pack saddles and took it down. Got finished about five forty-five a.m. and we must have been seen by the Hun but he did nothing. Then I had to go and reconnoitre another road, as the guns have to be brought up, found it all right. The batteries under the railway in front got a bad time during the night. The order to move the guns was cancelled. It has been a perfect light. The 9th Battery, while firing last night put four rounds into one of the 48th guns, which is only 100 yards in front. I expect the layer will get it in the neck. It was lucky no men were at the gun at the time

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