26th October 1916
Still having a H of a time. Mud and slush knee deep everywhere. Even our Gun Pits are half under water. Managed to get 'B' Gun up and into position this morning before daybreak. Getting 'A' Gun into a crater and at present she is about 400 yrds along the road, but daylight beat us as we are in direct view of the Huns. Went up to OP and strafed during the day. Had some fun. Battery got shelled during the afternoon and we had to withdraw detachments. Faulkner got up to Bty tonight with his two guns, and as 'A' is in position too, let the war go on. Up at OP tonight. Got lost on the way up, to say nothing of getting 'bogged'.
27th October 1916
Huns got very cheeky last night and early this morning. Threw quite a number of Gas shells about so we had to teach them a lesson again. Things still resembling a Hopeless Dawn etc. Up at OP all day. Strafed a road rather well. Tonight at 4.30 the Huns gave us what oh for an hour, so we sent back quite a few stamped receipts. They got into the Bty and also the OP and blew things about a bit. Still raining and as cold as Charity. Can't walk in the trenches so have got to 'risk it' out over the parapet. Awfully exciting, believe me. Got down to Bty tonight and had a feed. The first one since early morning. Am going to live up at OP in the future I think. Too many shell craters to fall into between the Bty and OP.
28th October 1916
Up at OP all day. Fairly fine but the mud is well rotten. Strafed a bit and got shelled by 5.9 at once. Cold as Charity. Had dinner with Capt Taylor, OC 2nd Bty. Went down to Bty for tea. Sleeping at OP tonight and Gee, isn't it cold.
Map of Ligny-Thilloy showing the trench system
29th October 1916
Still residing in my Palatial Residence. PR amplified means a trench knee deep in mud, a dug out which leaks like mad, and not wide enough to turn around in. Major Rogers came up this morning, and we both vented our sentiments on Thilloy and Ligny-Thilloy. Rain and slush still going strong. Haven't even got a dry change, and have been wet through for the last 4 days. Still, they tell us we're winning, so what's the odds. Some cheerful infantry chaps, hardly recognisable through the ample coating of mud, have just passed singing like mad 'Are we downhearted, no we're not'. Dined at Bty tonight and came up here before dark.
30th October 1916
Gee, what a Devil of a night. Sat up in a dug out with water 6 inches deep. Got an awful cold. Cleared up a bit today thank Heaven but all this trench has fallen in. Quite a war on today.
1st November 1916
Fairly dry today. Devil of a strafe on all round. Mr Hun very busy with 5.9s and 8.2 all day and paid us particular attention with the former. Believe there's to be another push here shortly and we're to be in it. Hope so, because the sooner it's over the sooner we can get a 2nd decent wash and into dry clothes once more. Mud still going strong.
2nd November 1916
Still raining like H. Heavily shelled with 5.9 and 8.2 all day. Still up at OP. Recalled to Bty tonight. Believe I am advanced to OO tomorrow for a big strafe. Huh-bloomin-ray.
3rd November 1916
Rotten luck. Strafe cancelled so returned to OP this morning and have amused myself by strafing a working party and knocking a house over on their lines about. Got a hit on the wall with the first round at 4800 yrds. Positions both shelled with 8.2 and 5.9 tonight. They made things very willing.
4th November 1916
A fine day at last. Have been taking advantage of the weather and building a new OP. Ross of the 8th badly wounded tonight. The usual evening strafe tonight. Orders out for the attack at 9.10 tomorrow.
5th November 1916
Gee what a night. Had just about completed the OP when it rained in torrents. Got flooded out again. Everybody wet through to the skin. Went down to the Bty at 12 pm for dry things and a sleep. Bitterly cold but still we're winning this war, so what's the odds. Returned to OP to survey the ruins this morning. Got word that our attack starts at 9.10. Later. Again we win. Although not so decisively as previous. Our left and right got hung up but the centre got there alright. Devil of a H. Got shelled to blazes tonight and suffered a few casualties. Still fine thank Heaven. Worked on OP all night.
5th November 1916
Finished OP this morning sometime. Things still normal. Had a great time strafing Huns. They got excited and came out over in the open and I done what I left Aus to do, namely killed them. Got one party on the road leading to Thilloy and played merry H. Quite a few stretchers were required. Got a few in Trap Trench also along the road behind Thilloy. OP looking awfully decent.
6th November 1916
Raining all day. Dug out standing it well. Sundry hates but nothing much. Slept the majority of the day.
7th November 1916
What about sniping? (This is in the darker script of the 8th) Gee wizz what a day. Got orders to report to Bty HQ at 6.30 this morning. Reported and was sent up to the Front line to register the 8th and 9th Btys on a ticklish bit of Hate. Gen Holmes up here and under his directions brought our fire right down to within 35 yds of our line. Gee it was some shoot. Got complimented on it too. Our trenches are in a Devil of a state. We waded through one sap up to our waists in water and slush. Got back to Bty at 6 pm; came up to OP.
8th November 1916
Decent day today. Sun conspicuous by its presence once more. Still its horribly muddy yet. Reported to the Colonel at HQ this morning and gave him all the information I had got during my trip up forward. Saw Chas. Had a screw at High wood. Knocked about slightly. Got bogged four separate times but am still alive. Decent observation for once. One house over in their lines which I used to love strafing has been turned into a Hospital so won't be able to strafe it any more. Got a ring from the major this afternoon and he passed on the following message: From OC Basket to OC 'Blow' WB15 From General Willis. Thanking the artillery Liaison Officers for the good work done yesterday. Please convey congratulations to Lieuts. Hogan, Shaw, Doughty. Some doings eh what. Glorious hate this evening.
9th November 1916
Sundry artillery strafes but nothing very interesting