April 29 th 1915 THE GREAT PROMISE
We must have been spotted by an enemy observation airplane, for the German artillery gave it to us warm in the afternoon.
In the evening the officers made a bivouac beneath a layer of trees, just a few yards on my left. A few shells, real coal-boxes, were bursting very near the officers, so they moved into a dugout further over to the left. This was good fortune because a few minutes later a shell hit the tree and snapped it like a match.
Since other shells followed we had to leave the guns for a while. When the shelling was over, we went back to where the officer’s dugout had been. The hits had blown the place to pieces. The two coats that hung on the tree were absolutely in ribbons and almost everything else was ruined.
One of the officers had been sitting on a box of biscuits that was now blown yards away. The box was reduced to a piece of twisted metal with not even one biscuit remaining. Everything was almost unrecognizable, including the bodies of the officers.
Mr. Dowling, one of the officer’s servants, got both his arms badly splintered. All night the enemy continually shelled the roads to our right rear.