Daily Archives: July 4, 2016

4 July 1916

As you have probably gathered from your daily paper there is a certain amount of excitement out here, and a certain amount of “push” going on. We have been working up for it for the last two months and a certain job was assigned to this Division. Of the success and failure of our efforts I suppose I must at present say nothing. My brigade, with the exception of the 5th, was not in the show and I had a liaison job very far in the rear. However the night following we went up in reserve and I managed to get back to the Bde just in time to accompany them to the scene of strife. There was a lot of hard work and nothing very much else. The 5th had not been actually fighting, though they had several casualties from shelling. Callard, a new Subaltern was killed, and Ward-Jackson who was with me at Marseilles, badly wounded. Russell was also hit, slightly I fancy – so was Creed – one of the very best that I have ever seen. I do not know whether he is bad but sincerely hope not. He is quite young and the son of a Leicester padre – but equal to any of the oldest soldiers for pluck endurance and everything else. The Colonel is still going very strong, & Major Toller has returned from his Scotch Battalion to be offered another, from which he will also shortly return I believe. It is rotten luck for him to be constantly shunted about from one battalion to another with a succession of temporary commands: he thoroughly deserves a permanent billet. Barton again did wonders in the way of bringing in the wounded. The way he has an absolute disregard for his own personal safety is almost miraculous, and we all hope that he gets some decoration – he most certainly deserves it. Williams also did well again, and so did one or two others. I was out of it – words cannot express my feelings. In fact I have been so disgusted ever since that I have not yet recovered from a sort of coma of “fed-up-ness” which has taken possession of me for the last few days. Work however will soon cure that and there is plenty to do. We have moved form out last bit of line to another; a piece this time where we are now persuading the Bosch that we can drive him from his trenches. The line is wet, the trenches are wet – the only good thing is my billet. I am in a most perfect little chamber built into the wall by the roadside. It has a crump-proof roof, but it is not a dug-out since it has windows, and a door on to the road. In this I am able to sleep and work in comfort. The weather is not good, it rained very heavily most of today and my last change of clothing is now wet through. I have no boots to wear, they are all like wet blotting-paper, and to crown it all when I came in today, soaked through, I found some kind person had sent my batman away to fetch mess-stuff, and I was left helpless. My temper therefore is anything but good and I cannot write a cheerful letter – so will stop and have another try tomorrow.