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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Diary Entry - 27th March, 1918

Go to advance wagon lines near Mailly Cemetery where the limbers and six wagons are all kept harnessed up in case of emergency. Was there all day and took up ammunition several times as we were doing a lot of shooting. The Hun at ten a.m. shelled the village and the orchard very heavily, blowing up one of the seven ones' limbers. A little later, he shelled the area in front of the position with eight inch but was about 50 yards short of us. I had a comparatively peaceful day and was rather amused at my groom, Driver Wrate, and a Corporal pursuing an old cockerel which strayed from the village. They eventually ran him to ground in the cemetery. There was a DH 4 on its back near me, a beautiful machine, rather crimped, but no one came to salvage it. The New Zealand artillery came into position in the evening and we looked like being relieved. Barrett relieved me and, on getting back to the rear wagon lines, I found a Bristol fighter down near the Mess. The pilot had run out of petrol. It was a lovely machine with 250 horsepower 12 cylinder Rolls engine in it which consumed 18 gallons an hour (of petrol). I was also rather surprised to find two or three heavy batteries in action nearby as nothing had been seen of them on the retreat. The battery evidently got some good targets during the day on the main Serre road and 15th battery knocked out a limber and team on the road. Then another one came along and got locked in it and it was promptly knocked out too, blocking the whole road. Many other targets were taken on with success too.

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