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Sunday 30 June 2013

Diary Entry - 30th June, 1918

OP at eight a.m. Hun two-seaters are rather busy patrolling, so ask for some scouts and at ten thirty a.m. 5 come out and down a Hun in flames - only one chap tackled him, an SE5, and had the Hun cold. A good light all day and fire 90 rounds at various targets. The Major takes the CO of the battalion up to show him his SOS lines but the latter seemed so frightened in the front line that I don't think he saw a round. However, they were quite all right.

Saturday 29 June 2013

Diary Entry - 29th June, 1918

Walk with Major towards the forward wagon line, leaving him at the 15th to attend a BCs meeting. Find on reaching the forward wagon lines that our horses have gone on up to the guns. However they soon arrive and I send the Major's to the 15th and go on to the rear WL. The harness looks well for the show, which is to be an eliminating show for the brigade, in spite of the fact that we have thirty five men down with PU. This is I believe also called Spanish influenza and puts the men down with a fever for eight days to three weeks. Come back after tea and look at the mine which is going down in our rear position near brigade on our way. They have eight frames in which is good.

Friday 28 June 2013

Diary Entry - 28th June, 1918

Go to the forward WL in the morning and on to rear position then back for lunch nothing doing in afternoon.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Diary Entry - 27th June, 1918

Lambkin goes down to rear wagonline to start men on rear position mine and in the afternoon the Major and I went down to brigade and we all stay to tea. I remain for a time to bring up a prisoner before the Colonel. After tea the Major goes to OP and reregisters guns on zero for another raid.

Diary Entry - 26th June, 1918

On relieving old Lambkin at the OP in the morning became rather nervous as am told the barrage was all wrong and we bashed in our own frontline, killing two and wounding thirteen men of our own. This keeps me pretty worried all day though am pretty sure in my own head that, unless the guns which were registered on the range are wrong and we have been given false calibrations, our barrage is all right. It was a coolish day and see no movement though fire a few rounds with forward gun.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Diary Entry - 25th June, 1918

Stay at the guns all day and in the evening take the forward gun to another position and eventually get it settled in about twelve a.m. just on the edge of Douchy village. On returning to the battery find Major Scott asleep and Barrett informs me he had dined well though unwisely at D36 so there was nothing for it but to set to and work out the barrage. This was rather a nuisance as if the Major had not told me he was going to work it out as I went forward I should have come back a little earlier. Just got the barrage ready for the No. 1s by one thirty, zero hour being two a.m. The 23rd Fusiliers were doing the raid and the barrage being over at two twenty and no retaliation coming from the Hun lines we turned in. The Major was still sleeping heavily with all his clothes on so we left him as he lay.

Monday 24 June 2013

Diary Entry - 24th June, 1918

Went up to the OP at eight a.m. and relieved Tucker who had just been ticked off by the Perrire for allowing his men to use the trench as a latrine. It was rather tough when we had only been in twenty-four hours and could not possibly have done what we were accused of doing. Have quite an amusing time with the forward gun which bangs the front line at under 2000 yards.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Diary Entry - 23rd June, 1918

The captain man takes Scottie and I round the OPs and forward gun and we seem to walk all round France. The Hun seems to be pretty tame, as we walked about in full view within 2000 yards of him and he never fired a round at us. When  we got near the forward gun the Hun became unpleasant and we sat down in the valley to a flank to see if he was going to continue but when we had seen ten rounds we gave it up and went on to battalion. The Captain man seemed to try to put the wind up us, saying we would walk by a certain track but that it wasn't wise. However, the Hun was kind and took no notice of us.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Diary Entry - 22nd June, 1918

March at eight a.m. Siggers and I ride on to St Amand and find B189 is the battery we take over from 46th Div. They remain at the wagonlines that night but we take up four guns into action. Scottie and I go up for the night and the Major of the battery we relieve - a funny sort of codger - rides up with us as he has to take two guns off into another position that night.

Friday 21 June 2013

Diary Entry - 21st June, 1918

After breakfast Major goes to seven ones gun line to say goodbye to the men but comes round in stables and seems to have a wonderful eye for horses, which is hardly to be wondered at considering he had been a horse dealer in Ireland before the war. The guns are relieved at three p.m. by a battery from the 15th Div. and they bring six guns to our lines in the afternoon, three springs and three recuperators, we leaving our guns in the position. That evening we all went to Turnip Tops - in fact I think the whole brigade were there. The show went with a wonderful swing.

Thursday 20 June 2013

Diary Entry - 20th June, 1918

Make for Arras at seven thirty in order to catch a lorry which was to leave the Octoir at eight a.m. for St Amand and the new gun positions we are to take over. We had (a representative from each battery) a fairly rough journey and arrived at Mouchy-le-Preux about eleven a.m. calling at RAHQ on the way. This was the day Major Scott joined the battery and we found our guide and the captain of battery we were to relieve and off we went. After a good three mile walk we reached the position, which, on first appearances, did not look too good and the mines for living in looked as if they would fall down if anyone sneezed, as all the frames had been removed and someone had put in corrugated iron against the roof, with props to hold it up very few and far between. After lunch we returned to the village, picked up the lorry and went back to our wagonlines, having a rough 24-mile ride.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Diary Entry - 19th June, 1918

At eleven a.m. McKenna and I walked to the guns for lunch. It was a very muggy and thundery sort of day so we were pretty warm when we got there. We found Nick was the sole inhabitant as the others were up the line and Cruikers doing OP. However, they got back for lunch all right. There was a very short heavy shower about two, which made things more steamy than ever.

Diary Entry - 18th June, 1918

Inclined to rain in the morning but fines up about ten a.m. although still thundery. Siggers comes down for lunch. Notice that Thorburn is back again as see him go past with Dickson on his way to the guns so bang goes Siggers' chance of being Major of the battery and my hope of being Captain.

Monday 17 June 2013

Diary Entry - 17th June, 1918

Ride down to Lenz Arras Road in morning to engage a bath for the afternoon and thoroughly enjoy the large enamel bath at three p.m. At evening stables McKenna and I tackled the thin horses and filed down their teeth, some of the donkeys needed some holding.

Diary Entry - 16th June, 1918

Siggers was down in the morning but went up before lunch to play the organ for the Padre's service in the Mess. McKenna, Lambkin and I walked to the rear position in the afternoon.

Saturday 15 June 2013

Diary Entry - 15th June, 1918

Take out four bombardiers in the morning map reading and we go for a good ride round, calling at RA about twelve p.m., they all seem good though one Br. Austin seems very intelligent. Lambkin arrives from the guns after lunch and in the evening we all go to a very excellent show run by the 51st Div named Turnip Tops. This show is run on musical comedy lines and both the music and songs were written and composed in France by a man who used to be at the Gaiety.

Friday 14 June 2013

Diary Entry - 14th June, 1918

Cruikshank gets down about eleven a.m. and after lunch we ride out to see the thin horses grazing on the track to St Eloi. Barrett goes up in the evening to the guns to stop.

Thursday 13 June 2013

Diary Entry - 13th June, 1918

Colonel comes at ten a.m. and inspects A subsection in marching order and E sub in skeleton order harness, also goes round everything else and seems well satisfied, though asks endless questions about everything.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Diary Entry - 12th June, 1918

Ride to the rear position in the morning. A very busy day at the wagonlines, as had to get all the harness ready for the Colonel's inspection which he ordered for Thursday.

Diary Entry - 11th June, 1918

McKenna and self go to Chamblain l'Abbe, have lunch at the club and draw money from the field cashier. In the afternoon we watched a game of cricket - there were no extraordinary performers but there was a splendid matting wicket and should like to have had a knock.

Diary Entry - 10th June, 1918

In the afternoon ride a bike up to the guns to see about the 2MS who is inclined to crib about having to go up to the guns, but Siggers, as I knew he would, took the strong hand and said that we could do without him if he wanted to accept the next Sgt. Major's job, he was not indispensible.

Sunday 9 June 2013

Diary Entry - 9th June, 1918

At eleven a.m. the Colonel, Major Mills, Flemming, Crabtree and Pocock, two new subalterns, went round the rear defence lines and looked at all the probable gun positions for each line. We lunched in Agney Duissans on a sandwich and biscuit, getting back about three p.m. Find that Nicholson has come down in the afternoon in order to dodge church which is being held in the Mess.

Diary Entry - 8th June, 1918

At eleven a.m. the ADVS 15th division came round to see the forage and looked at some of the horses' feet as had to send in some sort of report. We had a march out parade at two p.m. in the afternoon and Siggers arrived at three p.m. to see it. Everything seemed to be packed very neatly. The Divisional RA ran a concert in the evening and a lot of us went to see it, but it was a rotten show.

Friday 7 June 2013

Diary Entry - 7th June, 1918

There was the usual inspection of harness which was not at all good. A subsection as usual walked away with the half holiday. A certain Driver Maxie who had returned from hospital arrived at our lines but with a chit from the 52nd Brigade but when I sent him to the 52nd Brigade they refused to have anything to do with him so after going to the adjutant about it found we would have to keep him as the statement saying he was to report to the 52nd Brigade had no signature to it. On the way back from the brigade I met Nicholson rummaging about some old huts looking for timber. Hear in the evening that Major Bromley of 41st Brigade was killed by a shell at midday while standing at the door of his Mess.

Diary Entry - 6th June, 1918

I took the horses out to a new grazing field after breakfast and went on to see Pelham as we badly needed some lime. Barrett went to Camblain l'Abbe to draw some money from the field cashier.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Diary Entry - 5th June, 1918

Barrett and I take a flutter to the rear position in the afternoon. The CRA Corps was round the horses during stables and congratulated everyone on the horses' condition and the way they were groomed, which was very satisfactory.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Diary Entry - 4th June, 1918

Send up a working party under Sergeant Head and go up myself at nine to get them started on clearing the entrance to the old hole so the wheeler can get a look at it after lunch and see what ought to be done with it. Siggers sends us down railway sleepers from Athies - good strong timber and just the article for the job.

Monday 3 June 2013

Diary Entry - 3rd June, 1918

Siggers comes down in the morning to have a look round and in the afternoon we both ride up to rear position to arrange about building 4.2 proof shelters for the detachments. He arranges that two shall be built, one in an old funk hole which is already beginning to fall in and the other has to be cut out of the face of a bank.

Diary Entry - 2nd June, 1918

Cruikshank goes up to the guns in the afternoon and I accompany him to see the Captain. Barrett comes back with me and as we cross Roclincourt Valley the Hun opens on the Ecurie balloon with 8' shrapnel, making it very nasty in the lines, as all the pieces fall about there, we being in the line of fire. The first round seemed very close but had no effect on the balloon-atic. All he did was to move his lorry along the road, the cable and winding gear being attached to it. Though several heavy bits of metal, weighing anything up to 40 lbs, were found about the wagonlines, no-one was hit and we were all glad when the balloon descended about seven p.m. and the Hun gave up the shooting.

Saturday 1 June 2013

Diary Entry - 1st June, 1918

Had a smoke helmet inspection on parade and also withdrew all blankets but one from the men. All are supposed to be handed in but as the battery came out with one per man bought from the battery funds they always retain it. Cruikshank and I ride to Aubigny after parade and see the Major who looked very well and expected to go down the line that afternoon. We were very struck with the number of men hanging about the CCS and cannot think why they are all there as they seem to have nothing to do. The ADMS was going round when we called after lunch. He seemed a good sort of chap.