Daily Diaries
Diary Four
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2nd March 1916 to the 11th August 1916
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Page Eight
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1st July 1916
Glorious day today. Quiet morning but had scheme 8 this afternoon with the assistance of T.M. An aeroplane raiding party went over "their" lines tonight and dropped bombs on their stationary balloons. Got 3. The Huns fired hundreds of shells at the planes but they all returned safely to the aerodrome. 10.30 p.m. Awaiting the time for our big coup. Our Bty is the centre Battery of a pretty big stunt tonight. The 9th Batt are raiding their first line about 12 p.m. and where're supporting them. On our immediate right the Huns have opened. Been going for quite an hour and a half.

2nd July 1916 (at OP.)
Lord what a time we had. The fun didn't commence until 2.30 but it was worth waiting for. Our friends were extra nervous. Must have had an idea we were going to "hate". They had 2 enormous search lights playing all over our lines and sent up dozens of lights every minute. No 2 got a jammed breech after firing about 50 rounds. Went and got her into action again. When we had finished all the guns were just about red hot, just like they used to be at Helles. The scrap only lasted about 28 minutes, but the guns were going like mad all that time. Our friends sent over a few 5.90 at us but they all landed a bit short. Details of raid to hand. Congratulations by CO 6th Batt on splendid barrage. Prisoners taken 20 R and F, 1 Officer, also 2 machine guns. Number of kills. With regret have to report the death of Chas's cousin who was the officer that led the raid. Up at OP. all day. Nothing much doing. Major Rogers (8th) and I had a hate on our own about 9 p.m. Big hate coming off tonight.

3rd July 1916
Another glorious evening. We started the ball rolling at 12.30 p.m. to the second. Jove it was some show. Our left section was attached to the 7th for the night so I had to do 4 gun battery's work with my two guns. And they didn't fail me. Had complete control and believe me we did strafe. Swept 1 and searched 300 with T.S. Our first barrage about 160 rds of H.E. breached their firing line along a front of 300 yds. You could almost have boiled a "billy" on the muzzle of either gun after we had finished firing. They were scorching hot. The paint blistered and burnt, but gee it was great. No 1 jammed only once but the delay was only for 15 sec's. Our "friends" annoyed us with shrapnel and H.E. but didn't get any of our boys. Got to bunk at 3 a.m. Woke up at 9 by a salvo of 5.9 tearing things about just down the road. Sent over about 50 but only got one hit on one of the 22nd Batty pits. Not much damage done.

4th July 1916
Orders out that we leave this position early Wednesday morning. Being relieved by the 37 Bty. Busy getting stores etc. ready to hand over. Brigade orders say that we are chosen for rather a neat little stunt. The 61st English Div are making two big raids tonight and we are causing a diversion and blowing down 20 of their first line parapet. Ranged on to it tonight and were all ready. Oh! Delphine. Gee but I am tired as the deuce. We got into action at 11 p.m. and for 20 minutes kept up a steady stream of shells at the salient RYF 6 secs. Then they ranged on us and gave us a fireworks display. No casualties but were awfully luckily. At 1 am I had the extreme pleasure of taking part in one of the most glorious "rough ups" that ever was. We started off with 2 rds BYF 5 sec and then for 35 solid minutes kept at gun fire. Talk about an inferno. All 4 pits were full of empty cases 2 jammed after quarter of an hour's intense firing. One stuck it out rather well, although the spring went. About 5 minutes to cease firing. We put through 992 rounds. Five of the boys in a pit were overcome with the fumes and had to be pushed out in the open air, so was in my glory for a time loading. Jove it was fine. They rained shells back at us 77 mm and 4.2. Got a direct hit on No 4 pit and punctured the landscape rather well. They were only about 20 yds out of range, but their shrapnel splattered all the pits. Left Bty position at 3 a.m. Walked to Waggon line, got our horse and came on here (Doullens) where we are massing preparatory to making a move north. Have just awake after 6 hours sleep (2 p.m.) Busy bathing, sleeping and packing kit during the afternoon. Chas came up and fed with us. Bunk at 8.30 p.m. A German prisoner who was captured by the 9th Batt in their raid, on being questioned by Provost Marshall said that if the German Infantry in this part of the one caught a 1st Divisional Artillery man they would crucify him (how nice).

6th July 1916
OO today. Busy getting things ship shape again. Every time we move it seems to rain like the mischief. Our horses and waggons are covered in mud, but managed to get them rather presentable by night. Went into Estaires at 6 p.m. and came out again at 9.30. Saw McKeon. No orders to shift yet.

7th July 1916
Major left early this morning with the Colonel to pick our new position. In last nights orders it mentions that my good comrade Lt. Rogers 6th Batt has won the M. Cross. Went into Estaires again this day. Went and said goodbye to the Mdll's Gue'quiere. Ronduel who I met through McKeon. They have a beautiful home in the heart of Estaires. Had a famous time. Major returned tonight. Have to be in readiness to move at a minutes notice.

8th July 1916
Busy getting things ready for a move. Contrary to expectations we go south. Had a bit of revolver practise at night. Chas and I went into Doullens at night for an hour.

9th July 1916
R.O.O today. Went out exercising horses this morning. Afterwards jumped some of the horses. Several visits from Taubes today. The Colonel paid us a visit today and brought with him the news that my 2nd star has been confirmed. So from now on I hold the rank of a First Lieutenant. What a Dorg.

10th July 1916
Went into Beauval for a ride today with Chas and Morris. Had a great blow round. Managed to buy several things including a rain coat and 2 rather decent hand-worked hats which I sent to 48 MR. Arrived home at 11 p.m.

11th July 1916
Marching orders to hand. Don't know where we're off to but its south (some way) somewhere. Left Waggon Line at 8 p.m. and entrained at Beauval West at 10.45. Left the station at 1.24 a.m. and arrived at our railway destination (Doullens) at 6.15 am. Had a decent compartment all the way shared same with the Major and Richardson.

12th July 1916
Left station at 8 a.m. and set out for a 16 mile ride to our billets. Glorious country here, and beautiful old houses everywhere. At present we're in rotten billets. Had hard luck in not being quartered in a lovely chateau overnight by a Countess (French). At present is D.A. H.Q. It's a lovely home. Don't know how long we're here for, but I'll be very thankful when they push us up a bit further. "Bathed"

13th July 1915
Slept like a log all night. Up with the larks this morning feeling awfully fit and well. Great climate here. Down in stables all the morning. Horses stood the journey rather well. Out for a 10 mile route march this afternoon. Went through several villages among which was Flesselles. Every little village, no matter how small can boast of a church. In the evening Chas and I visited the chateaux and had a saunter through the House Park. Gee it's a paradise. There's one long drive through one portion of the Park which is the most magnificent I've yet seen and I spent 8 days in Marseilles. Mail arrived tonight. Managed to catch one from H.R. "Hossie" and "Bream". Awaiting orders to move up to the line. Wish they would hurry up and come to hand. Can't settle down to a quiet existence. Utterly impossible.

Château de Flesselles
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