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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Diary Entry - 14th March, 1917

Walford: It was a very wet morning and had been raining through the night. This was the day we were to get a gun forward below Loupart. At nine thirty, a limber team of 12 horses set out, headed by the Major and followed by Siggers and me, with pack horses. The previous day a party from each battery had worked ont the Dyke Valley as far as the Acqueduct Road and made a track. All went well as far as the Acqueduct Road and men were making a cutting off it at battalion HQ under the colonel's instructions when we arrived. I went on with the pack horses from here but met with misfortune crossing an infantry foot bridge (some 4 foot 6 inches wide) as one of the horses slipped off into the creek. It took us a good 35 minutes to get the poor chap out as the creek was fairly boggy and there was all sorts of rubbish in it. However, we eventually got him out and proceeded on our way. As soon as that job was finished, I went back to the guns, which I found putting a trench bridge over Grundy. The 50th Battery (Major Dale) were leading and crossed all right but got bogged getting onto the road near the creek. We got over all right and were well away over Grevillers trench, heading for the ridge, when the 50th came along. However, we were the first to drop our trail on this historic opening day of the Great German Retreat. After plotting out the position, we came back down the "Ladies' Leg", a valley so called because of its shape - and on crossing Grundy found Major Walrond still trying to get his gun over the trench bridge - they had already been into the trench with the limber once. They just got over as we wended our way back to the Mess, covered in mud, having done a good day's work moving a gun some two miles forward over very badly shelled ground.

Bee: Went to Senlis and got pay for the Army in the morning. Paid out in the afternoon, Nothing much else doing - still don't feel like smoking. Had a pair of socks from home.

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