Daily Archives: June 25, 2016

25 June 1916

No more cloud-bursts and as the weather looked fairly respectable last night I decided to risk my open-air couch. My expectations were not entirely justified, for a few drops of rain actually had the impertinence to fall on me in the small hours of the morning, they were not enough to hurt and all I did was to pull my water-proof cover a little higher. Today it is hot: unfortunately not a good sort of heat. There is still thunder about and the sun doesn’t shine properly – it is much too close and sultry. I expect we shall have another big shower or two and then perhaps it will clear for a bit. Yesterday afternoon there was a footer-match on which I went to see – it was of course much too hot to play – and the ground, curiously enough was far too wet and slippery. However we managed to win which is the great thing in these shows. It is rather nice to get something to take one’s mind off the miserable set of trenches at which I have been staring for the last few weeks through a telescope. So clearly is their landscape painted in my head that I see the beastly country all night in my sleep, and cannot get away from it. There is rather a curious thing told about the storm the day before yesterday – I don’t know how true it is, but cannot imagine anyone being able to invent it. One of our “sausage” observation balloons stayed up a little too long, and the storm caught it before it had reached the ground. The cable broke and the wretched thing was immediately whirled away into space at a gigantic speed. There were two occupants. Either struck by lightning or for some other reason, the balloon caught fire and finally came down – fortunately within our lines. The curious part is the difference in injuries sustained by the two occupants. One was slightly burnt by the burning car. The other from being rushed through the hailstorm for only a quarter of an hour, was very badly frost bitten in all his fingers. It must be rather a risky sort of existence in a sausage, one never knows what they will do. One broke away the other day and made straight for Germany. The occupants seeing their unhappy plight burnt all their papers and came down as rapidly as they could – to find that they had escaped capture by a comparatively few yards, and come down just behind our trenches. That was by night. On another occasion one broke away by day, and started to drift towards the Bosch: there was not much wind and it went slowly. The occupant burnt his papers and descended quite safely in his parachute. The lightened balloon went on, rising slowly all the time. After going about ten miles over the enemies lines it struck an upper current of air which was going in exactly the opposite direction. It then proceeded to drift slowly and majestically back to almost exactly the same spot from which it had started – and finally came down well within our territory. Yesterday evening I climbed to the top of a neighbouring hill to watch the distant flashes of guns and things – always rather a pretty sight at night. I had to go through the camp and found our people kicking up a terrible row. The victors of the footer match were making enough noise for a hundred, and all from the C.O. downwards seemed very merry. I think it very probable that I shall dine in mess with them tonight; they have managed to rig up some sort of erection under which it is possible to crowd the enormous number of senior Subalterns that we drag along with us at present. Today being Sunday we are having a Church Parade at 11.30 with a celebration afterwards. I wish these padres would have early morning services, they would be much more generally attended, and there is no difficulty in their arrangement. However I suppose in wartime one must be content with what one can get. The former useless individual has been removed and I believe the new one is an improvement – at all events he cannot be worse than his predecessor. Boosey has just sent me the music of the March Lorranie – I will give it to the Band today and let you know how it goes when they have practised it a bit.