30 July 1915


I am disturbed, we are disturbed, the regiment is disturbed, the Army is disturbed, & very soon the Newspapers will be disturbed.  The impudence of the Hun is beyond belief.  At early dawn this morning for some inexplicable reason he fired all his guns not once but many times.  Result of course was immediate waking of all men from their beauty sleep, first by the noise, & shortly afterwards by the Brigade who sent an order to us to stand to, & be prepared to move.  Out we came at dawn, not a cold clammy dawn but a nice bright warm summer morning, & got dressed, & still the guns, ours as well now, continued to disturb the peace of all who tried to sleep.  Nay more, not content with sleep disturbing they came out & proceeded to occupy a trench or two which they had blown to bits.  From one, actually in our divisional line they were hastily evicted.  In the others, the next division to ours they got a footing & are now being carefully pounded by every known kind of shell that we possess.  Tonight I expect the “counter” will come & someone will go & remove all Teutonic traces from the spot, & we shall return to the status quo – as it is not in our Division we shall not have to take it back, though I believe the men would rather enjoy a scrap, & it certainly might be rather a lark.  At present therefore we are still standing to, ready to be off anywhere at any time.  Kits are packed, emergency rations collected, respirators cleaned up, & identity discs long since lost are vainly searched for.  Chaos & suspense look after most things & most people.  Personally I cannot raise the energy to indulge in either; my things are all ready , it is a very hot  day  & the only thing that really worries me is the thought that with all this foolish bustle lunch may be late & the potatoes wet.  Mould & Knighton have both got their second stars, the former does not the latter certainly does deserve them.  Mould, I am afraid will be almost unbearable in consequence, more so to me who am now the only Junior “Sub” left in D. Coy.  Two more officers have come out, senior to me, so that I am still in the same place in spite of the other two promotions.  However think not that I grumble, I am quite happy as a Junior “Sub”, & being fairly confident that I know my job, the mere wish-wash of seniority is of no importance.    The 5th Lincoln band is just giving us selections from Gilbert & Sullivan – at the present moment the Mikado.  During our precious six days rest the band comes & plays a good deal, they have nothing to do but minister to the services of the battalion resting in reserve.  They play quite well on the whole, though there is too much brass & too little wood.  The number of aeroplanes increases daily, in fact there is hardly a minute on a fine day when one can not hear the whir of an engine somewhere overhead.  Just at present our aircraft have been doing rather well, the Hun gets chased when he appears & has rather a thin time.  The Germans have got a new marking again for their machines – instead of a black cross they put a blue large ended – small centered Maltese Cross, very hard indeed to distinguish from our blue circle.  Where they are fighting the trench do the same with a red cross to bluff the enemy who carry a red circle.  Such are their funny ways.  No time for more.

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