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Friday, 31 August 2012

Diary Entry - 1st, 2nd and 3rd September, 1917

Saturday: remained at guns all day while Armytage goes down to W L. Sherman and McKinty wander up to the Fosse for a joyride but fail to see anything as it is rather misty. Sunday: at five a.m. I am awakened by heavy enemy fire coming from South, soon afterwards I hear S O S shouted down the battery and we commenced jumping it in as the S O S light had been sent up.  A hostile raiding party of 150 men, including five officers, got into our trenches and wandered about, apparently losing themselves between the posts and getting round up. Anyway, they went back without taking a man and we had nine casualties from hostile fire. The 46th division infantry had the wind up properly and H Q was receiving marked attention from the Hun guns and Armytage, who was up there, said they would not stir from their burrows. I reached the 400 (name of our OP) soon after six a.m. The sun was right in our eyes and I did not pay much attention to the front until eleven a.m., when I had a good squint over the country and found some Huns strolling about in the open to the rear of Lone Farm. From then until one p.m. I must have seen 20 Huns and kept sniping at them with one round of H E, the only one I got really close to was with the second round, which burst all over him and he turned and ran for his life. It was most amusing to watch. There was very little shooting on either side through the day, due to the gale blowing, I expect. Monday: Sherman and self ride to the W L on bikes but the former is recalled to see the general at the position almost before we had been there 10 minutes. I waited for stables and picked out with the Sergeant major 20 horses to be put on a thin line to see if we could not fatten them. After lunch called the 48th W L and found that Hoyland and Nicholson had just got back off leave. Bellew was also at the WL. Sharman came down again at two thirty p.m. and we rode into the Bank of France to see if they would cash a cheque for 225 francs but the largest sum they cash is five pounds so had to retire. On the way back I had a hot shower at the Ecole des Filles. About five thirty, when I arrived, Admiral, a 6 inch how battery, was pumping gunfire onto some target and the Hun must have sound ranged him as he put a lot of 10 centimetre gun over at them, soon closing them up. One cut a tree in half as I crossed the open field to the guns from the Mess. Battalion that night as liaison officer.

Note: the most amusing feature of the proceeding was that Armytage heard the adjutant tell the Colonel that one post had lost a Lewis gun and he said Ahem! That would be rather hard to explain. This rather tickles us as they call themselves the fighting Sherwoods

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