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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Diary Entry - 22nd May, 1917

Walford: Tuesday. It was raining when I got up at seven a.m. and had been for some time before. I had to do a turn of duty at the Bde OP and left the WL at eight forty-five a.m. with two signallers as look out men. It was very heavy going up the mule track and worse still when the police at the crest made us get in a trench. However, as it was very misty, we left the trench very quickly and made for the old gun pits, which had lately been taken over by the infantry. After a hunt through the slush for the OP, we dropped in at Inf. Bde. HQ, where I was very grateful for a drink offered to me. From here we got through to Bde HQ and asked them to direct us to the spot and found it only about 150 yards to our left rear. The mist never cleared till midday nor did the rain, but Bosche was very quiet so there was nothing to worry about. The Colonel and Sandford come up in the afternoon and fire a few rounds with the sniping gun, without much success, as the aiming posts seem to have been planted by someone after they were knocked over by shellfire. The Hun put some very close to the gun after a while, but think he was only dusting up the road between the Sucrerie and Arleux-en-Gohelle. In this same dug out as our Bde were two infantry officers, Divisional intelligence people. They belonged to the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders and were big talkers. One called all his men by their Christian names and they returned the compliment. It was a most weird party - they talked about each other's 'lassies'. Before dusk a wild rumour came round from Corps that the Bosche was retreating, but as their reasons for retreat seemed very weak to me, I did not get very feverish about it.

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