Daily Diaries
Diary Four
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2nd March 1916 to the 11th August 1916
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Page Six
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17th May 1916
Glorious day. Aeroplane duels the order of the morning. Their heavies making hideous noises during the afternoon. Tonight we had to "stand to" on account of receiving a Gas Alarm. The sector attacked is South of us and at present 9 p.m. there is an extra heavy bombardment down that way. Got a letter from Annie today. Gee my mails gone mad. Haven't had a letter for years I think.

18th May 1916
Glorious day again. Aeroplane stunts as usual. Still at Waggon Line and having a deuce of a time. Great night tonight. At the invitation of Madame (our billet proprieties) Grace, young ladies of Flanders come over to entertain us. Sang French songs (in the English version mostly) until I was quite hoarse. One of the visitors was a Belgian girl whose father was killed early in the fighting. Aeroplane squadron after, gone at midnight tonight.

19th May 1916
Major came down today bringing with him good tidings. First of all that we're expecting a real good rough up shortly. And that I can get up to the Battery in a day or so. Mail arrived, but mine "nonest". Wrote Annie. Got shelled this evening. Don't exactly know if they were after us or an observation balloon which was up close to us. Anyhow they didn't get either. Very heavy bombardment down toward Neuve Chapelle.

20th May 1916
Glorious day again. Sundry artillery "strafes" and aeroplane "stunts". This afternoon Chas came down to dinner. Randall also blew in and had a "cup of tea". Big mail arrived last night. Mine still nonest. Nothing much doing.

21st May 1916
A few small hates and aeroplane stunts the order of things. Getting quite hot here. Our friends shelled a portion of Fluerbaix today, but did practically no damage owing to faulty ammunition. Visited Bte 8 H.Q. tonight. Rode up on Phillis. Chas came back with me. Had quite a nice little evening with the aid of three "mademoiselles" and cham. Glorious news tonight . Am going up to the Battery Tuesday morning.

22nd May 1916
Constant strafing all day long by both sides. Still quiet down here until this evening when they ranged on to the road about 6000 yds away from our stables. Thought we would have to "runski" but they soon tired. Put over about 50 shells but didn't do much damage. Chas down tonight. MacIndo, Moody, Chas and I had "a night assisted by the aforementioned mademoiselles.

23rd May 1916
General Hobbs inspected our W.L. this morning. Had a great turn out. Complimented on it in fact. Quite a "dorg" believe me. Reported to the Battery at 8 p.m. and ordered to go and report to Battalion H.Q. at once. They expected a "strafe" this evening, but it didn't come off. At present we have 3 officers and 30 men from the 6th Bty quartered with us. They relieve us when we go out for our spell about the 30th of this month.

24th May 1916
Great day. Got down to the Bty at 7.30 a.m. and just going to have a bath and a few other things when we got into action and strafed at the same time. "They" set one of our billets on fire and strafed the road rather prettily. Anyhow we had a rather hot half hours hate and then knocked off for dinner. This afternoon I was sent up to OP. and had a few "pots" and started a war with some of their Batteries. Located one of them and strafed it properly. Shut them up in rather quick time with No. 4. Chas came up to see me, so we had a war on our own.

25th May 1916
Up at the OP. again this morning . Started another row with our friends. Gave poor old Le Maisnil a few and pasted the cross roads rather well. No 4 seems to have got them thinking. Can't locate her anyhow. Had an accident with her in the afternoon and had to get new springs into the buffer. Have been "strafing" a good deal with her of late. Beano at the billet tonight.

26th May 1916
A glorious little war today. Went up to OP. this morning and strafed all and sundry. Major came up later on and our joint ambitions and doings set things going. Have become quite an expert on knocking houses about. Real top hole on the roofs. Went down and paid the lads at the Waggon Line this evening and came back and done likewise the Battery. During my absence "they" strafed our billet, Battery and No 4. I am (27) Just came back from running No 4 into a new position. Too hot over in the old one.

27th May 1916
Went up and plotted out a new zero line for No 4 this morning and spent two or three hours giving somebody up ahead the benefit of all doubts. Down at the Bty all afternoon getting things ready to hand over to the 6th Bty. Sundry hates the order of the day. Tonight one of our aeroplanes went for a trip over the enemy's lines and caused quite a stir. Must have had 400 shells at it, but it managed to evade all of them.

28th May 1916
Getting ready to hand over the 6th most of the day. With Chas, visited the 2nd Bty and saw some of the old boys. Had dinner with Capt. Olding, Regg Morris. Got home at 8 p.m. Something tells me there's going to be dirty work about tonight. Later just had a champagne supper with Major, Chas, Faulkner, Robertson and 4 officers from the 6th . Bunk at 11.30.

29th May 1916
No rest for the wicked. Behold in me the "wicked". Got an urgent this morning at 2 a.m. and have been supplying the Huns "urgently" since. Got into a beautiful little "strafe" and started quite a small war on our own. I think we won on points because they "ceased fire" first. This afternoon Lt. Duffy and myself rode via Sailly-sur-la-Lys to our new waggon line where we are to "spell". Fixed things up for our arrival. Went into Estaires and had dinner, and a little diversion from being shelled. Got home about midnight after the darkest ride I've ever had. Had to take our bearings by the light of the German flares. Raining.

Street and church interior of Estaires

30th May 1916
Busy getting ready for our move all morning. Handed over to 6th at 5pm. Left Fluerbaix at 7. Walked down to W.L Bac Saint-Maur and left there at 9.15. At 8.30 our friend opened up played the Devil. Thought we would have had to go back and strafe but was disappointed. Arrived at our new W.L. at 11.15. Lovely ride. Am getting to know my way about Flanders.

31st May 1916
Quite settled down in our new billet which happens to be a rather big farmhouse. This place also was used by Uplans early in the war for a H.Q. The father of the family at present living here was shot in his own garden. The morning taken up with getting things straight. This afternoon Chas myself rode into Estaires. Had a pleasant afternoon. Struck an English Leiut in there, and he showed us around. Walked back and got it doing so. Arrived home at 11 p.m.

1st June 1916
Rode into Estaires with Robertson today. Bought several things for the mess. Saw our English friend again. On arriving home the Major informed me that his leave has been stopped. Quite hard luck as he was looking forward to getting away the day after tomorrow. Richardson takes his place. Chas goes on Sunday night. Very heavy bombardment over Laventie way tonight.

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