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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Diary Entry - 4th April, 1917

Walford: As it was a fairish morning and the clouds looked a little higher than they had of late, I thought I should try and get over to Annequin and find "A" anti-aircraft battery. At ten a.m. Wrate brought the horses and we went via Bouvigny, Boyeffles, Lveux-les-Mines, Sailly-la-Bourson. It only took two hours to get to Annequin Fosse but it took me some time to find the battery which was on the far side of the Cambrin road. Of course, John was on leave and Sam McCaughey away in rear with a section, so there was nothing for it but to return. It was inclined to rain on the return journey but managed to hold off. I left the horses with Wrate in Lveux-les-Mines to water and feed and I walked on expecting him to pick me up. After an hour's walk, I sat on the roadside to await the horses but an hour later, as they didn't turn up, I got on a passing lorry, which luckily was going my way. Wrate was not back when I arrived at the wagon line but turned up about six p.m. with two chits from APM and said they would not let him come out of the town without a pass and then he only got one after explanations as to who he was and where he had come from. Hoyland had been to the guns and did not return until eight thirty p.m. We had orders from Brigade to send 30 of our horses over to the DAC where we should get 30 in exchange. The idea was that these, being good horses and having suffered from treatment and lost condition, should be given a rest and a chance to pick up condition.

Bee: Started out with Claudet to the OP at eight a.m. – a miserable morning, raining up to midday. I have never seen anything like the trenches. They are all ankle-deep mud and in some places well over the tops of your boots. Of course, we have no telephone wire but the Corps had made arrangements for us to use a buried line. But when we got to the OP found it had not been completed. So spent most of the morning trying to find a corps officer, without success - too wet for him to be out. I never saw anything like the amount of artillery firing and the funny part was that the Hun did not retaliate. The rumour is very strong that he has gone back.

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