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Monday, 20 August 2012

Diary Entry - 17th, 18th and 19th August, 1917

Go to OP and relieve Cruikshank. The Hun was very inactive on the front till we straafed Auchie with a hurricane bombardment at two thirty p.m. and then again at six thirty p.m., for five minutes intense gun fire. This was retaliation for the Hun shelling Bethune with his five nine gun. I was hoping some of the sixty pounders or six inch would hit one of the OPs in the town but they all escaped unscathed. The late shoot stirred the Hun to anger and he pipsqueaked [illegible - town ending in nchy] and the Cambrin Road, worrying me at the Babe, so I asked Vosper to turn onto his end of the La Bassee Road and that stopped him. He has a tender spot in the Spotted Dog. On Saturday, when I come down from OP, remain at guns. McGinty [? does he mean McKinley?] comes back from D36 in the afternoon. A heavy shower blew up in the evening. Sunday: Claudet, Hoyland and I go down to the HQs, and then on to Old Boots trench, and fire one of our guns on SOS lines, to see that it is all right. We get back to lunch at two p.m. The Major was madder than usual and turned the four eights' Mess upside down, besides behaving like a lunatic in the trenches. In the afternoon, I rode up to [illegible place name ending in nchy] Station via Harley Street, to pay the section out. This is a good section position and the men seem very comfortable. They have even got electric light, having tapped into a cable on the canal bank. Came back via the Canal and call in at the Vosper Mess and have a chat with them, then on to tea at the Mess, as the Major wanted the bicycle to go to the OP on.

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