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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Diary Entry - 18th October, 1917

The Majors and the Colonel went on in buses in the early hours, to look over positions which we were to take over. We marched at ten thirty a.m. Siggers and I go on ahead, I to do the billeting and Siggers to reconnoitre a road for the brigade. The Padre, Siggers and self rode on together and had not gone far when we met Colonel Thompson to whom we were attached at Thiepval (11th Div) and Major Griffith, with their units on the march. We hunted for a place to have a meal in Hazelbrook and ran across Brigadier Martin Powell, who used to command the 48th Battery. He was in good form, now commanding an Anzac Corps and he had his little dog Ali Baba with him, which he told us to take note of. We eventually lunched at the Hotel du Nord near the station, then went on to Eecke, to meet the adjutant, who was to be at the main crossroads at three p.m. Siggers had a simple job, as the road was quite all right and he simply had to give a report on it to Vosper, who arrived soon after three p.m. All the battery representatives turned up at two thirty a.m. and we whiled away the time by visting a funny old town Major to whom Gough of 71st Bty put a few questions, greatly agitating the old man. We found our billets were about another two miles further on, quite good though the lines were very slushy. The battery got in about five thirty, in the dark, and we had a great time watering at a stream which we could not take the horse to as the banks were so muddy. It was no fun feeling your way in the dark for water with buckets and mud halfway to the knees. The Brigade and ourselves were in the same farm and messed together.

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