The date is August 1914. The British Expeditionary Force is in France and You're in the Royal Field Artillery. You're riding alongside one of the battery's gun limbers on its way to the assigned position on the east side of Mons, Belgium. This begins your journey into the Hell they called World War One. To purchase this historical memoir go to https://createspace.com/3649268

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Grandfather's journal April 4th 1915

All his journal entries are in my book "World War 1 - An Unkept Promise" on Kindle or paperback "The Great Promise" on Amazon Available in US, UK, EU

April 4th
Collins and I proceeded to CROIX BARBETTE to take over wires and communications of 35th Battery, which we were to relieve. We arrived about midday, and went along observing line to the observation station, which was what little that remained of the brewery in Neuve Chapelle.
It was interesting to go over all the ground that we had won in the big scrap on the 10th March. Everywhere was hapless ruin and the old German trenches were in a very battered condition.
One could not walk for shell holes and graves; many of the graves had been ploughed up by shell and the remains re-buried. There were still scores of dead Germans between the trenches, and the smell was not pleasant.
The church and churchyard was utterly destroyed, but strangely enough, a large crucifix was standing intact and apparently untouched, while everything else within a mile from it had been battered to pieces. In the whole village, there was not a house standing.
Rifle bullets were plentiful as we wired, at times in full view of the enemy trenches. However we fixed up the line without mishap and on the way back we came across the grave of a telephonist of the 35th that had been killed. We felt sorry for we knew him quite well, and worse still he had been killed by one of our own 6" shells which fell short. A 6' Howitzer had also blown up in a field in front of the battery, killing 3 and wounding several.
We were told that it was not so quiet here, as it was when we were here before. From the sights around, it was quite evident, but still the little farm was still intact.

All the inhabitants of the village in the rear had been cleared out. I got a woollen mattress, which made a grand bed, and was much preferable to the straw we got; it was firm and warm. The battery came in rather late, and things seemed a little noisy in front, but it was only a 'wind' attack from the batteries in our rear firing slowly all night on barring. 

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