Our heavies had a short short at 6am. Few shots heard until 6pm when our Arty started right on time and shelled the enemy lines on a front held by 7 Bdes. Their SOS signal went up at once. One group of enemy arty opened up at once, other two took 6 and 8 mins to get into way, then we got it hot. The noise was deafening. It lasted until 6.45 then everything quiet again. Got to bed just after 11pm.
4pm up again. Our arty started the real thing at 4.32am and gave them it hot and thick. The infantry attack got us the trenches we lost on Feb 14th except a small portion near the BEAM. Our Bdes had small losses. 8am 200 prisoners, wounded and otherwise passes near us. The first this morning. Our ammunitions come in full view of enemy therefore got heavily shelled, 3pm, 3 Red X motors came in for it hot on the same road. Relieved by the 149 Bde, had a rough journey getting to our rest billets arriving 1.30pm, some got here at 8am. The enemy shelling all roads during night.
Our heavies were banging away and kept Fritzy alive. Fine until 3pm when it turned absolutely dark and rained in torrents. Our Bde casualties in the fighting heavy and roughly 160. I have just totalled our messages of yesterday’s work. Sent received and transmitted by wire orderly and lamp totalled 505. Then the officers were constantly using the phones. Five operators were constantly busy.
The troops who actually took the trenches were the 9th W. Riding Regt. The worst day we have had out here snowing, wind etc, turning to sleet. Had jolly good sleep last night 8pm until 7.30am and still sleepy. 5th Borders left in trenches when we came away.
7.30am got a momentary glimpse of a German airship away beyond Ypres. A nice day but it turned out very stormy again. Very little firing to be heard. Absolutely nothing doing.
9.15am left here and drove to Bailleul arriving about 11am. Had a very jolly day with my friend Mr + Mrs. Bailleul-Delvalles. We left again 5pm arriving Ouderdom 6.45. The day was fine but cold and we thoroughly enjoyed the outing. 6th DLI went into trenches and relieved 5th Borders.
7 Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday and no pancakes. Again stormy and snowing but not so very cold. Enemy at 3pm were shelling road near our billets. Paid a visit to cinema at Reninghelst. It was not mush good but spent a decent two hours. The show is in a large barn.
8 Ash Wednesday
Thick cover of snow during the night. Nothing else all day. 6th DLI relieved by 8th DLI tonight
Snow still laying and freezing hard. 2pm went to Dur. HQ with Maltese cart, from there walked to Poperinghe, went to the Follies had a pleasant night arriving Ouderdom about 9.30pm. Our heavies had a busy night.
Raw, cold, snowy morning. 6am our Arty had another busy ½hr. 9th DLI go into trenches at the Bluff tonight. There the trenches are the ones taken from the Hun last week.
Much warmer this morning. Nothing much doing about here. Arty in the vicinity of St. Eloi seemed busy this afternoon. 5TH Borders relieved the 8th DLI in trenches tonight. German Arty active, the whole day busy.
Very fine day. News that Sergt. Broadbelt’s commission has gone through. Capt. also told me that he is leaving us within a few days. He goes to 2nd Army HQ. I am very pleased to hear of his promotion but am sorry to lose him. I have saved under him 8 years come August.
Splendid weather, nothing doing. Linesmen sent up to take over lines in sector right of Sanctuary Wood. Heavy firing went on all day.
Making preparations to move up tonight. I went into hospital at 4pm at the 7th Field Amb. Left at 9.20pm arriving No.10 C.C.S. Poperinghe at 10.20. Felt totally knocked up and glad to get into bed.
Washed and breakfasted by 7.30am. Left No.10 C.C.S. at 2.20, had tea on train near Hazelbrouck. Arrived St. Omer about 3.40. It was a tedious journey although we had every comfort, plenty to eat, drink, read, cigs. Arrived Boulogne at 8.20pm. It was 9.50 before I got a car arriving Australian Hpl. at about 10.45. My temp. was very high so I was chased into a very hot bath and into bed just on the point of midnight.
Had no sleep all night, sweating too heavy. I was compelled to have a complete change, bedclothes, everything soaking wet.
17 Friday to 27 Monday
Left Australian Hospital at 2.30pm by motor car for No.5 Convalescent Camp arriving at 3.30pm. Our first night the wind blew a proper hurricane and we were compelled to turn out into the rain and spend an hour fixing it up. This is a splendid camp, clean and healthy, very little to do.
Paraded before CO at 9am then the doctor at 9.30 then finished for the day.
30 Thursday and 31 Friday