October 1915

October 1915

Friday 1

Very quiet today except the aeroplanes are busy with the clear weather.  No more fresh news from the areas engaged in the fighting at present.  No shells except two fired on towns today.  We are about the usual again.  Firing heavy again tonight.

Saturday 2

Splendid day, very little firing to be heard.  Our aeroplanes report unusual German activity in Lille and on out front.  I fancy they must be contemplating having a dust at us here.  Let them come.  Three shrapnel shells burst near our HQ about 6pm.  Nothing much tonight just the usual machine gun and rifle fire.

Sunday 3

Arty fire about the usual.  A great deal of aeroplane observation on either side.  These last few days our Gen. has had 10 Battns. under his command.  74th Inf. Bde. took over the position of line we had from the 37th.  The 13th Canadians R.H. also left us tonight.  We are now at our ordinary strength, 5 Battns. and hold about the usual frontage.  Enemy shelled the Rue Marle today.

Monday 4

110th Bde. now attached to us destroyed one of the enemy’s new works.  About 4 pm German plane over our place and flying low on account of very heavy black rain clouds.  He got a hot reception and was compelled to descend but managed to get to his lines.  Heavy Arty fire in the distance cannot say whether North or South.  I visited La Bizet and Houplines.  Got our Maltese cart.

Tuesday 5

Nothing much today except plenty rain but it is much warmer again now.  It rained the whole blessed day long.  Had a trip over to Erquinham road, very dirty.  M. Guns hard at work after dark.  Russian ultimatum to Bulgaria expires today.

Wednesday 6

Rather quite today except one or two shells on the town today.  So they must have got another Batty. in place of the one silenced by our guns.  News of the French making more successes have taken the town of Fahure.[1]

Thursday 7

Enemy busy strafing the town today.  Otherwise there is nothing to record.  Very quiet with the exception of aeroplanes which are as busy as usual.  Made a Field Telephone Exchange these last two days and put into use this morning.  It works A.1.  We take over 80 trench tonight from 2 N.F. Heavy firing heard in southerly direction.

Friday 8

About the usual today again but very heavy cannonade both North and South went on all day.  Not feeling so well today but still as busy as ever in Sig. Office.  9th DLI relieving 7th DLI tonight at dark.  Patrol went out from 6th DLI last night not returned.

Saturday 9

Everything very quiet today.  Weather very dull. 15th DLI attached to this Bde. until the night of 13th inst.  Patrol of 6th DLI still missing.  Very heavy artillery firing going on all day in a southerly direction.  Rue Marle was shelled a little today.

Sunday 10

Much clearer today therefore much livelier, saw some old friends this morning in the 15th DLI.  Enemy aeroplanes brought down two of ours with machine gun fire.  Then he in turn was heavily shelled & brought down.  Firing south much heavier today.  We are expecting trouble on this front the way things are shaping.  Both ours & enemy aeroplanes fell in the German lines.

Monday 11

Heavy fire still going on south.  I suppose it means another advance after all this shelling of enemy lines.  Everything very lively here.  Enemy shelling town, aeroplanes very busy.  Went to pictures at night and had quite an enjoyable evening.

Tuesday 12

Arty south still going strong.  Aeroplanes as busy as usual.  I was at Battle HQ this morning making ready for our move up tomorrow.  The fun I mentioned Monday is coming up the finish.  Let us hope our boys are successful in the south.  The usual M. Gun and rifle fire after dark.  Preparations still going on for the straff tomorrow.

Wednesday 13

Dull, raining heavy but sun broke through at dinner.  Bombardment started at 2pm, went on till 4pm then the bombers got ½hrs practice.  Our Arty did splendid work, the enemy reply was feeble but they opened rapid rifle & M. Gun fire.  Arty burst gas cylinders in German trenches as greenish yellow smoke rose where shells burst.  German trenches badly damaged.  Our casualties 4 sitting cases.  Quiet again at about 6pm.

Thursday 14

Dull again today, very little firing heard except away to the south where it went on yesterday with double the intensity of previous days.  They were still going at it at 12 midnight.  Heavy firing still going on south.  Messages state that we are still making progress in that direction.  Our Arty continued today same as yesterday but not on so large a scale.

Friday 15

Very foggy with a little rain result everything very quiet except in the fire trenches. It was impossible to see the enemy trench so working parties were out busy repairing entanglements and were occasionally fired at by M. Guns.  Enemy working parties were more numerous on account of Wed. shelling so our M. Guns were kept busy dispersing them.

Saturday 16

Today is practically the same as yesterday.  I visited our Battle HQ and all the Batt. HQs.  All communications were good.  Our Arty put odd ones over.  The enemy did not reply as far as I know.  Twice this morning there was heavy outburst of rifle fire.  7pm heavy firing heard towards Kemmel or Dickebusch for an hour.  Nose cap picked up in our trenches on Thursday has been proved to be from a French shell.  The gun was captured from them and is now used against us from the direction of Lille.  Other two picked up today Sat.  It is only used occasionally as ammunition is limited.

Sunday 17 

Still foggy but cleared out about noon.  In the afternoon arty fire near Kemmel then some of our guns got busy.  The enemy replied by putting a few into the town.  I was up at Battle HQ again this morning.  Some heavy rifle & M. Gun fire at about 8pm.  A nice moon but very cold.

Monday 18

Weather much clearer today.  Aeroplanes very busy.  One large Belgian plane fired on by German rifles & M. Guns.  Heavy arty firing in the Div. on our left.  Some very heavy shells burst in the town again, one about 100 yds. from our HQ wounding two women.  Usual rifle firing tonight.  Still frosty and bright moon.

Tuesday 19

Splendid day.  Artillery busy.  Aeroplanes also taking advantage of the clear weather.  Right through the night heavy firing could be heard in the distance.  Enemy again put a few into the town.  8pm enemy M. Guns very active.  I am not feeling very well today.  9pm until after midnight very heavy firing as though an attack was in progress towards Loos.

Wednesday 20

Day very dull but not so cold.  2nd Army wire states that enemy made desperate efforts to gain Hohenzollern Redoubt but were everywhere repulsed with heavy losses.  It has been very quiet practically all day.  Heavy outburst of rifle and M. Gun fire after dark.

Thursday 21

Very dull again today.  We have peace when weather is dull.  Not a shot heard this morning yet, 11.30am.  Nothing whatever except a battery firing occasional shots.  Cleared out a little about 3pm when one or two aeroplanes showed themselves.

Friday 22

Everything very quiet today, about 6 shells fired into the town.  I had a long walk this morning around by L’Armie[2] towards Fleurbraix then though Erquinqhem, Lys and back.  Visited cemetery where our soldiers dying of wounds are buried.  There are also a good number of Germans buried, two of which are unknown.  We received a gift of cigars and tobacco sent by the British residents of Paraguay.

Saturday 23

Very thick and misty turning out a little better towards 10.00am.  Heavy firing on our front besides our flanks.  Aeroplanes are also busy taking advantage of the clear weather.  Heaviest firing seemed to be south.  M. Gun and rifles busy after darkness put in.

Sunday 24

Very dull again and turned to drizzle about 3pm.  Everything very quiet on our front.  Arty fire heard North and very heavy firing South.  I visited 9th Yorks and saw about 7 local men.  Everyone has the same tell “fed-up.”  Capt. Baynall went on leave today.  Towards night it turned to a proper downpour of rain.

Monday 25

Still raining and very cold and windy.  Winter has set in now proper.  I pity the men in the trenches this weather.  In spite of the weather our howitzers were busy this afternoon, the enemy replied with a few into the town.  149th Bde relieved by 62nd Bde of the 21st Div., New Army.  Guns busy as I write this.

Tuesday 26

Clear today.  Enemy shelled our trenches near Edmeads and Hobbs farms doing considerable material damage with whizz-bangs, casualties few, only 1 killed.  Heavy firing near Kemmel also further north and the same south.  Our guns were also going strong.  The M. Guns were busy at night.  A few shells put into town.

Wednesday 27

Today is wet and dull.  I visited A, B, C & D Battys. 95th Bde. as there is trouble with their communications.  Arty not too busy.  Sgt. Broadbelt, Pte Ball left at 9am for wireless course.  King George inspected troops at Bailleul and expressed sincere pleasure at their appearance.  Men from each of our Battns. represented this Brigade.

Thursday 28

Still dull and wet.  Firing going on, on either side.  Our Arty bombarding heavy on our front in the afternoon.  Two Zeppelins seen from our 74 trench just after 6pm.  Nothing much doing otherwise tonight, about the usual.  Telegram from the King congratulating the troops.

Friday 29

A little clearer today.  I heard very heavy firing at 2.45am.  It was too distant to locate.  Our Arty have been busy strafing this morning.  Our Arty at 6pm also M. Guns opened rapid fire on L’Aventure[3] at a point where German transport assembles, result not yet known.  Message state King had an accident that may have proved serious.  His horse reared and fell over.

Saturday 30

Weather finer.  Artillery busy.  Our aeroplanes trying to get across to see result of last night’s shoot, were heavily shelled.  A few shells fired on town this morning.  Arty busy again this afternoon.  Machine Gun and rifle fire heavy on this front at night.  Heavy firing heard in the distance went on all night.

Sunday 31

Cold and dreary.  Cleared out about 10am.  Aeroplanes as usual, not so much Arty fire.  Only heard one shell in town.  As soon as it was dark, the German M. Guns got busy for why I cannot say, got the wind up perhaps.


[1] Check this name

[2] Not located on modern map

[3] Not located on modern map