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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Diary Entry - 3rd May, 1917

Walford: Thursday. I rose at three, having slept at the 56th Bty and had not had much sleep as the Bosche had shelled heavily all night. K's position receiving much attention as usual. The barrage was to open at three forty-five am and as I reached the dug out the Hun was buzzing the high velocity gun down the sunken road and had already scored a nasty hit plumb on the top of the dug out entrance. As there were very few minutes to go for zero when a signaller went out on the wire, I sent up a message to say I had arrived. There was quite a heavy Bosche barrage on the front before we opened but it was a frightful roar when everyone opened at G.7.10' Before ten seconds cotter[?] was again rattling down the road, putting them on top of the door again and making the dug out bounce badly. After the first hour, I relieved Hoyland and Bellew at the guns, the latter had been standing in the control post with his head 18 inches above the ground when a shell pitched four feet from him, but he never even felt it - a very narrow shave. There was again heavy machine gun fire on our front and, although some 150 prisoners came, the cleanest and finest I have seen taken, we knew all was not well. Our front soon quietened, after another two hours of shelling, but there was very heavy gunning in the South. Sandford (Captain, 8th) our new BC, said that Goschen wanted one of us to go to the OP, so I went up. It was very gratifying to hear Sandford say that the Colonel recognised the four eights as the best battery of the brigade. Sandford, who had just come up from the wagon lines, told us he saw 60 horses dead on the lines of one wagon line - a Bosche aeroplane had flown over in the moonlight, dropping bombs and using his machine gun freely and this was the result.

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