15th September Tuesday
About 10 am our artillery observing officer galloped out about a quarter of a mile in front of us to a ridge – Here he pulled up and stayed for quite five minutes looking for the German positions. He’d only just turned to return when the shrapnel stated to burst all round that ridge. The officer got back safely but the shelling continued vigorously – Our artillery very weak in comparison. About 11.30 am one of our guns destroyed by German “Jack Johnson” (almost the first we had seen) learned after that practically all our gun team’s horses killed – “Jack Johnsons” kept shelling our artillery positions regularly now, our guns answering very feebly – No large guns with us and only very few 18 pounders Put in an awful day – No water and no food. About 5.30 pm. a German Taube flew over and along our lines very low, evidently not having seen us. We opened fire on it but without effect., she promptly altered her course and before many moments we were showered with “Jack Johnsons” our trenches being blown to bits. Obliged to evacuate them and retire across open ground. The Germans seeing us retired sent shrapnel over galore but we all got through to a new position safely – Took up positions in natural caves. This part of the country appears to abound in them. In morning, I, with 3 more men of my own Company succeeded in finding our Company and joined them in quarry (Near where we had made the bayonet charge the previous afternoon).