3rd May 1916
Spent the morning looking for a new OP. old blown out again. At present am observing from a tree about 900 yds in rear of our first line. Got a temporary station at the 24th OP. Up at Batt H.Q. at night.
4th May 1916
Down at the Battery all day. At 11 a.m. I got word to fire on a target that a scouting aeroplane sent down. Got into action immediately and got a hit with the third round. Put in about a dozen more for luck. Aeroplane report to hand says effective shoot. Same believe me. At night the Colonel, Chas and Morris visited our billet. We had a phonograph records and Champagne so had an awfully jolly night.
5th May 1916
Just going to bed after a glorious little 'hate'. Have been up forward observing all day. Our friends ranged on to pretty well every trench in the 24th and our own sections. Thought there would be something doing tonight, and there was. Had just dined, and was having a little bit of music, when someone let hell loose on our sector. Our friends concentrated all their available artillery on us and gee wizz, didn't he knock it in. We've just finished firing. Everything is quite normal again but for two hours it was like old Helles again. Our boys stuck it well. Trust the 1st AIF for that, although for every shell we loosed off, they sent 7 back at us. Were expecting a repetition early tomorrow morning. Hope they come, because we've got such a painful surprise awaiting them.
6th May 1916
Our friends evidently thought better of it and didn't try any more funny business this morning. Rather a disappointment for us because we had several painful surprises up our sleeves but they'll keep. Got more than he expected I fancy. All our chaps wanted to rush his trenches., but unfortunately orders are orders. Up at OP. all day. Had a couple of visits around the trenches. In one small sector they got over 400 shells into it. Got down to the Battery at 7 p.m. Had a visit from Chas. Everything O.K.
7th May 1916
Down at the Battery all day. Sundry little hates the order of things but nothing much. Busy fixing up night lines of fire for our guns. Expect to start registering tomorrow.
8th May 1916
Up at OP. all day. Bitterly cold, in fact it has been hailing most of the day. Started registering this afternoon. Had my first experience of controlling fire from OP. Registered my own which the Major persists in naming after me (Doughty's Road). 10.15 a.m. Just sitting in my dug out writing this. Expecting trouble. To the right someone's lifted the lid of Hell and they're playing the Devil. Its as light as day with the flares and gun flashes. Glorious night for a scrap, nice and chilly, and dead calm, so come on dears, do. Saw Randall tonight.
9th May 1916
Although expected something last night was disappointed. Nothing doing. Turned out to be a bit of a midnight "hate". Down at the Battery up till 6 p.m. During the afternoon had a decent little "hate". Reported to Batt H.Q. at night. Raining like old Nick. Had a most pleasant evening with Col. Bennett. It rages and other officers of the good old 6th. Quiet night.
10th May 1916
Up at OP. today. Nothing doing in the morning, but in the afternoon the Major and I had a little "hate" on our own. Their 5.9s opened on the old OP. and sent over 60 at it. Gee, its in a mess. We were up a tree observing during our little hate and was paid particular attention by one of their snipers. Awfully cheeky chap, but a rotten shot. Glorious evening.
11th May 1916
Down at the Battery all day. Consistent shelling by the enemy of sundry points of our sector. We had a nice little hate this morning and also a sortie this afternoon. "Strafed" a house or two which happened to be occupied also "stroked" a working party or six. Fritz scored one hit today. Brought down one of our "planes" not very far from our position. This evening he nearly got another. Real hard luck he didn't. The shooting warranted it. Saw Chas tonight. Went into Fluerbaix and teased some French girls. The most innocent bit of fun we've had for a long time. Major, Chas and I had a Fizz Supper. Glorious war this.
12th May 1916
Up at OP. all day. Had a "dig" at a working party on my road. Caught a few. Sundry shelling on both sides. Ran No 4 out tonight. Took her up about 1400 yds. 8th Batt turned out in force to help.
13th May 1916
Down at the Battery all day. Raining like Hell. Suture on has by M.O. 2nd Bde. Done a bit of strafing later on in the afternoon. Went up to Batt H.Q. for dinner with Rogers. Had a most enjoyable time up there. Tea and toast at 11.30 p.m. Quiet night up ahead but quite a noise up Armentieres way.
14th May 1916
Up at OP. again. Cold as charity. Quiet morning, but "they" started hideous noises during the afternoon, so gave them something back and shut them up after a few rounds. Got a few direct hits on Maisach Church and house alongside of it with our mobile gun. Bde orders tonight contain a list of officers leave. Wonders never cease. Fancy giving officers to the 1st Art. Div. Leave. Rotten part about it is that Chas goes early next month while I get away on the 23rd.
Australian 18lb battery gun stuck in Flanders Mud
15th May 1916
Down at the Battery all day. Still raining and this Flanders mud is so affectionate. Had a bit of a "strafe" this morning and got something. Lt. Robertson reported for duty to our Battery. The Major insists on it that I go down to the waggon line for a few days spell, and as its an order I go down tomorrow morning. Nothing much doing.
16th May 1916
W.L. Arrived here at 10 a.m. this morning. A little quieter than the Battery, but still within range of their "heavies". Its great here. Everywhere along the road and in Bai St Maurit are little restaurants owned and run by French people where they sell refreshments and a little bit of everything. Both my charges are fine. Haven't had a chance to ride either of them yet. O.C. Waggon Line has too much to do. 8th Battery got their share of "strafe" today. Its going up. 7th first, 8th second, 9th (our turn next).