Saturday, 30 April 2016

Sunday 30th April 1916

Nothing very exciting has happened in the past fortnight. A relief has been detailed to replace me and may turn up at any time during the next month. This I presume is due to Neills good officers in agitating to get me to the 87th (Royal Irish Fusiliers Battn). I heard from him today and he mentions a piece of good work recently done by them. In daylight 2 officers and 28 men, with 1RE (Royal Engineer) officer and 3 sappers, went over to the Bosch and killed 2 officers and 13 men, bombed 10 dugouts, blew up a mine shaft and MG emplacement, and all got back safely with only one very slight hand grenade wound. (The Battalion were then near Berle-on-Bois. The officers of the raiding party noted to be Lts Russell and Boal). 

This last week the weather has been fine and summer like, which alters one's outlook on life. Have been pretty busy - five nights out of seven owing to a dearth of officers, 4 away with drafts, 3 on leave. Yesterday, Colquhoun got orders and departed to the 7th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers 'ek dum'. The C.O. also went on leave yesterday which leaves me in charge in case of accidents. 

Last night there was a strafe about 1am commencing with a gas attack, but it apparently came to nothing and so far as we are concerned only resulted in the loss of a little sleep. Such things have occurred every five or six nights but nothing seems to happen. 

The work we are employed on was digging trenches near 'Swan Chateau' and 'White Chateau'. We generally met out guides (Canadian sappers) at 'Cafe Belge', a ruined cafe at some cross roads which was frequently shelled and a bad place to loiter near - the parties were always accompanied by a couple of stretcher bearers, but I'm glad to say that I had no casualties the whole time I was on this job. Two or three times we had to go though Dickebusch village and along the duck board track over the lake. These were both bad places. Some of the men were of course, very inexperienced diggers and found it difficult to complete their tasks in the heavy clay soil. I remember one night we struck a particularly bad patch and only one man made decent progress. I supposed that he was used to that sort of work but he replied 'Oh no, Sir, I'm a grocer really'. After that, I expressed no surprise at anything. 

No comments:

Post a Comment