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Monday, 17 December 2012

Diary Entry - 17th December, 1917

I go up to the OP near Hesquiers at seven fifteen, walking via Havrincourt down the sunken road past what was our old wagonlines then into the trenches. It was snowing and blowing a young blizzard when we set out and continued all day. As a result of this, we saw nothing. The signaler and self half stood and sat in a mine shaft used by the infantry who used it as a cook house, so we were kept warm by the fumes and smoke from it, which at times almost gassed us. We came in at one thirty pm as it was still snowing hard and, as we approached the guns, the Hun shelled the position and vicinity with pipsqueaks. One gun was unfortunately pitching in the right end of the position and the first round got Gunner Watts of E subsection. He was in a very bad state and before he reached the dressing station died. That same evening we located the battery and the whole brigade kept shelling him in turns through the night. He answered the first burst of fire but was completely silenced by crashes of fire in return and I think he must have had a very thick night of it.

Gnr. Watts - killed in action
Gnr. Sharps - wounded in action.

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