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Monday, 2 July 2012

Diary Entry - 2nd July, 1917

Walford: Rise at five thirty a.m. and have breakfast, getting under way at seven fifteen a.m. Sandford, Hoyland and Siggers go on in a motor lorry. Nicholson goes with the Brigade transport, so Cruikshank and I go with the battery. It was a good day to be on the road, sunny, with a nice cool north wind. As we approached Mt St Eloi, I met Major Buxton of 13th Corps on the road, and he shook me warmly by the hand. A little further on a General had a yarn to me and I don't know who he was but he wished us all kinds of luck, also shaking me by the hand. I was beginning to wonder whether Haig wouldn't turn out to see us go by. The 15th had a nasty accident at Grand Servin - a motor lorry ran over a horse's foot, pulling the whole hoof off. Needless to say the poor animal had to be destroyed by the road side. We watered at Hersin, good troughs, but a very awkward spot to water a brigade. Had to hunt many people before I could get any water as there was no key to the tap and the troughs were dry after the 15th had finished. The 71st and D36 made a big block bringing their horses down past us, causing great heat as a lot of motor traffic got blocked. We reached Bethune about three fifteen and John, who had met Sanger at the club, was down at the railway crossing to meet us. Our horses were put on a vacant block of ground opposite the EFC and we were all billeted in the town, I at 40 Rue Potern, an old haunt. We had a Mess nearby and the daughter of the house was very nice and kept us well amused. That night while in bed I heard an aeroplane and was just trying to make up my mind whether it was a Hun when it let go a stream of bombs which seemed to fall fairly close to us as the splinters rattled about.

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