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Monday, 19 September 2011

Diary Entry - 19th September, 1916

Tuesday, Sergeant Williamson killed by a splinter. I was at the OP, going up in the morning and being again joined by Dixon of the 71s, who had relieved Charlie Armytage. Bosche opened up on our battery soon after ten a.m. He continued firing till about four thirty p.m., putting over about 250 shell in all - the old 4.2 How again. The light was bad and it was inclined to rain when we arrived but improved and was very good by twelve and indeed for the rest of the day. Major Powell was up as usual and ,although he was on an allowance of 30 rounds, shot off about 65 rounds through the day. He also did some good work spotting the howitzer battery that was firing on us. It was behind a crest in the direction of Fork Wood[?] A Minnie was also spotted almost on the same line, firing from the Bosche support trench. An anti-aircraft was also seen firing from Ayette behind Bucquoy. The 60-pounders counter battery people were put on to the How battery but never went within half a mile of it, so we got the 6-inch How man observing from close by to put a few rounds into it, and he fired 20, the majority of which were duds. Towards evening, on sweeping the country with a telescope, I discovered a large working party of about 200 men digging a trench just to the west of Bucquoy church and put the heavies on to them, but did not see any rounds go near them. Sergeant Williamson was hit by a splinter about eleven thirty and killed, poor man. He was a good chap, but I don't know how he was caught in the open, as everyone else was under cover and there was no reason for him to be wandering about. The blots of ink on this page were caused by concussion of 9.2 Hows firing not 30 yards to our rear - as I was writing, one fired and ink spurted out of the fountain pen.


  1. Serjeant Francis Williamson (16745) - another 'original' member of the battery - a Bombardier in 1914.