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 18th to April 3rd
March 18th to April 3rd
This period was very quiet. We were firing for registration only, by observation and by aeroplane. I find this very interesting, signaling to the aeroplane by means of a very powerful light. We were credited with doing damage to German gun targets.
Hostile aeroplanes were very active, but invariably our 13" pounder anti-aircraft guns gave them a warm reception.
The Germans brought down one of our aeroplanes, which fell between our fire trenches and theirs. We destroyed it with our guns to prevent the enemy getting any of the remnants.
The enemy aeroplanes frequently drop bombs on ESTAIRS, some 5 miles from us. Almost every day they drop a few shells in LAVENTIE. As in every place, the church, a beautiful old structure, is utterly destroyed.
I came through the town one day at a stretch gallop, as it was being shelled. Stopped a little way outside and watched the fire, which always seems to have a fascination for me. They did some grand shooting and repeatedly hit the church, one shell clearing off clean the one of the four pinnacles that remained.
I learned that the 37th Brigade, including my old battery, the 55th, were in action near us. After a deal of scouting and a ride on my old charger, I almost rode up to the trenches, when I was chased back by the infantry. Eventually found them and spent a pleasant afternoon. All my old comrades were Sergeants; Sergeant Majors and two others had got their commissions, for great changes had taken place during the last 3 years.
All the old officers, excepting one, had gone. I learned that several of my old chums had been killed and felt very sorry about one of my old friends named Hayman. The last time I met him was on Christmas Eve 1913, when I was shopping with my dear wife. I little thought then that the next time I heard of him he would be 'blown to bits, as we only found his legs'. He married a girl living in Battersea, only two weeks before the war.
On Good Friday I was interviewed by my CO. he told me he would forward a strong recommendation for old George and I, that we both should be granted commissions and advised us to take promotion which we had previously refused.
I had several rides to wagon line through ESTAIRS and LAVENTIE and enjoyed this period of what was practically inactivity; during the whole time only two shells came near the guns.
The bombardment of AUBERSs was postponed and we received orders to take up an old position at, CROIX BARBETTE.