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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Diary Entry - 22nd August, 1918

Guns are evidently moved up to within 300 yards of our trenches on Tuesday night. Attack commences at dawn. Cruikshank, poor chap, killed by a premature during first phases of the barrage, from some battery in rear. He was seen to fall and when examined it was found a shrapnel bullet had penetrated back of his steel helmet far enough to push a piece of his skull onto his brain, thus killing him at once poor chap. He was a fine young chap who had joined a mounted rifle regiment at 16 and fought through the German East African campaign then sailed to England and joined the RFA, and we are all very sad to lose him. By nine a.m. the battle had progressed so well that wagon lines were ordered up to Monchy. That evening as I rode away from the lines towards St Amand to arrange about Cruikers' burial, an old BE crashed, killing both pilot and observer. Evidently they were just circling round Divisional HQ, while the observer finished his reconnaissance report preparatory to delivering it by parachute, when they crashed into a balloon wire, tearing off a wing, cutting the balloon loose and crashing on the main road not 20 yards from our horse lines. It was late when I returned from St Amand and really could not make any arrangements, as all troops were in the forward area, so left it in the hands of the town Major to have a grave dug and padre ready to officiate at the burial service on Friday afternoon.

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