Daily Archives: July 21, 2015

21 July 1915

Ypres

Guns, guns, guns, & then guns again & for two whole nights nothing but guns.  Small shells, large shells, “pip-squeaks” & “crumps”, “whizzbangs” & ”coalboxes” Little Willies” & “Jack Johnsons”.  One & all they flew screaming, rumbling, shrieking over our heads flying northwards.  It started the night before last when we let off a whacking great mine somewhere away left.  (HOOGE).  At the same minute we started shelling & five minutes later came the German reply.  We were out of it, it all went over our heads, what happened, what we gained or lost I don’t know, but I should imagine that we were successful, because last night it started again.  This time the Huns began it, & kept it up for nearly two hours without slacking in the least.  The noise was fearful, even with us the whole place was shaking what it must have been like where they were falling we could only imagine.  During the day things have been fairly quiet so far, but I expect they will start somewhere again tonight.  The Hun seems to have a tremendous number of guns of all sizes concentrated round this benighted spot.  Their flashes at night come from all quarters of the globe.  The weather is now very much improved, no rain to speak of for the last few days, & though it is not very hot, it is a great blessing to have it dry again.  This morning my watch was from 1 till 4 & I saw quite the most glorious sunrise I’ve ever seen or hope to see.  It started at 2.15 a.m. with a long thin grey green streak of light.  Then quite suddenly a large mass of fleecy clouds were tinged with pink, & a few minutes later half the sky was one glittering mass of gold.  Everybody stopped work & gazed, it was wonderful.  They are beginning to give the men very much better rations now.   We see less bully & biscuits, & get much more fresh meat & bread; while today they actually sent us up rations of milk & lime-juice, things unheard of before in the annals of this regiment.  The cigarette & tobacco ration is also becoming more or less regular.  Each man gets an ounce of tobacco & 20 cigarettes a week.  This does not last very long when a man has to sit in a trench with nothing to do all day except smoke.  However it is a great deal better than no ration at all.

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