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
March 13th to 15th
March 13th to 15th
[It was] rather quiet, done little firing. Collins had a squeak on 14th whilst going along [the] wire, a shell bursting near missed him, but caught a Garhwal, and cut him clean in two.
I went into RICHEBOURG to have a look round; I went all over the deserted and desolate piles of ruins that had a little time before [been] a pretty little town.
The church had suffered severely, only parts of the walls and tower remaining. The churchyard was pitiful to look at, graves and tombs absolutely heaved up skulls and bones lying about everywhere. The top of the steeple had been caught fair by a shell and had fallen off and the top stuck firmly in the ground just by the door. It was as if it had been planted there. Everywhere was a hopeless mass of wreckage, which can hardly be described and wants seeing to actually believe.
Marched to PAQAULT and billeted, orders to move before dawn. [i]
Marched and dropped into action near LAVENTIE. This town was deserted and partially in ruins. Were busy all day laying our line to a ruined house in rear of our trenches, from where we could observe the German lines and AUBERS, a town in their possession. Whilst doing this, we went into an establishment, which was not damaged, and had only been abandoned the day before. It was beautifully furnished and in the attic were [an] abundance of women’s clothes. We secured plates and cooking utensils, several things that would be handy to us, and took [them] back to the guns.
In a field near the establishment were a good number of graves of our chaps, quite a miniature cemetery, and every grave head a cross and name upon it, etc. It was fenced in. I thought it will [be] a consolation one day perhaps, for some woman to visit the spot where someone dear to them was laid. This was a very unhappy day for me, for my thoughts were far away, and I slept but little at night, more due to my thoughts than the cold.