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Date: February 1918

February 1

Feeling punk today, bacon and bread for eats today, not on ration party tonight but on ammunition party, five of us went overland to Cite St. Pierre and pushed a truck of it up a light railway to about 1/4 mile from dugout and then packed it in, hard work, rum issue, narrow escape from machine gun bullet, gas came over but have good respirators, misty out and no sun today, in an old cellar used by Fritz, found an old German sniper's body armour

February 2

Feeling pretty good today, clear weather and can see well over German lines, good rations, breakfast we had porridge and bacon, dinner we had sardines and canned corn, supper we had steak, German MGs busy tonight, reports come that our bullets are falling short, quite a lot of shelling today

February 3

Clear day, lots of aeroplanes over today and shelling all day, outside dugout today watching the French mortar shells or Flying Pigs going over, they are deadly and have a terrific explosion

February 4

Went after water in morning and after rations in the evening, saw young Bennett in the supports who is going over on a raid tonight, raid started at 7:00 but was a failure, 1 killed and 8 wounded, received two papers, one from Mother and the other from Will

February 5

Fine weather, trenches very muddy and sticky, shelling all about us and shrapnel falling everywhere, building a new gun position in ruins of an old house, have to go up to front line position tomorrow to relieve the team up there, heavy bombardment tonight and lots of gas sent over back of us, filling belts all afternoon, received letter from Anne Jones in Wales with her sister's London address

February 6

Cleaning gun and filling belts in morning, in afternoon Niblock and I went up to the sacrifice gun position and two of that team took our position, remainder of team change tomorrow, Minnies are bursting all about the position, yesterday the position was blown up and it took 500 bags of earth to fill in the hole, we stay in a sap 25 yards from the front and 35 yards from Fritz, we are a sacrifice gun

February 7

Remainder of team came up today, cleaned up the sap a bit today, word came to expect an attack by Fritz tomorrow as he has two new divisions in front of us, on guard three times tonight and am very tired, rum issue tonight, a big minnewerfer burst near and a big stone hit my steel hat and another on my foot, nearly smothered with dust that flew about, can hear the German working parties and limbers every night when it is quiet

February 8

We didn't attack in front of us but further down the line, whole team up at gun with bombs and rifles, can't walk straight because I am so tired but slept afterwards from eight until twelve-thirty, on gas guard from 1:30 until 4:00 p.m., all we have to eat is what we can make on the little tins of wood alcohol, raining a little today, on ration party tonight, machine gun bullets stripping the parapet of our shell hole

February 9

Clear day so have to lay low, told we were to be relieved on Monday, officer brought us up a primus stove, very tired and can't sleep when I have the chance

February 10

Relieved tonight at 6:30, was guide for the party so made two trips back and forth from the front line which made about 3 miles extra walking, back to Les Brebis at 10:00 p.m. and our blankets, etc. are scattered at far end of town so didn't get to sleep until 12:00, had a dandy sleep

February 11

Cleaning guns and already to go up the line again for they are expecting Fritz to make a big attack, heavy bombardment tonight but the big raid by the 3rd Brigade didn't come off, feed of eggs and chips in evening, also to cinema

February 12

Up the line today on a recnoitering party picking out MG emplacement in case Fritz come over, to cinema in evening, expect soon that Coy. will be practising moving up the line in quick time, tomorrow night maybe

February 13

Coy. inspection by O.C. today, raining hard in afternoon, received some Canadian mail and wrote some letters, had a bath in afternoon, feed of eggs and chips in evening with Fred Morison, inside the R.C. church in this town and it's a very pretty church but hit a few times by shells

February 14

Gun drill in morning, our guns are filled with water and limbers packed ready to move forward in a half an hour from time of alarm in case Fritz tries to break through, gas drill in afternoon and lecture on gas effects, etc., to movies in the evening, warned to go up the line tomorrow

February 15

Got our stuff ready to go up the line in the morning, Niblock got drunk in afternoon and nearly missed going up and would likely have been charged with desertion was paid this afternoon at 2:00, three teams of us came up and followed the 2nd Coy., ration limbers just in front of the town of Loos (positions), arrived at 7:00 p.m., big gas attack, strongest attack I've ever been in but have a good respirator so it did not bother me, have a fair dugout with a brazier in it

February 16

Very clear day and aeroplanes active, one of our planes came down in flames, quite a lot of shelling today, received some papers from Mother and Will, also letter from John Sparham dated December 27, 1917, doing single guards during day and night except when firing

February 17

Clear and cold day, on ration party tonight, two big H & E shells burst right above while away but neither of us touched, Germans shelled us with gas for 3 1/2 hours and was pretty well choked up by the finish for we couldn't wear gas masks all the time, big strafe on in the morning and Germans trying to find out what our SOS is by sending up different lights

February 18

Clear and cold moonlight nights, aeroplanes active all day, not feeling well from gas effects last night, went after rations again tonight and the gas was so thick in Loos that it made our eyes run and made us cough a lot, two gun crews from the 2nd Coy. were sent out of the line from the gas effects, we had seven hours firing to do tonight so it made extra work for us, a German plane flew over our front line four times about 50 feet up and not a shot fired at him

February 19

Had a wash and a shave today and a pretty good sleep so am feeling a little better, very good rations up to date, nice moonlight night, while firing tonight, one of the bullets struck the muzzle attachment due to nickeling in the barrel and tore off the whole muzzle attachment, finished firing with spare packing gland

February 20

Moved up to Whist position and our Coy. came in tonight, I went ahead of crew to check over stores, feeling very sick, raining in afternoon and night, the other fellows did extra time and let me sleep all night, firing 4,000 rounds per night, very poor rations, wrote letters to Mother during the morning

February 21

Feeling a bit better today so did a long spell on aircraft guard and let others sleep, fair gun position, firing 4,000 tonight, we put a coke fire in a brazier and after the gas blankets were down we nearly got smothered by coke gas, clear out

February 22

Arial guard as usual today, raining some, feeling pretty sick by night and had quite a little sleep in the early part of the night, doing sniping by day and MGs, got 3 out of 7 Germans and also another time direct on a party but don't know how many casualties they had

February 23

Paraded sick today and came out of the line through the dressing station, marked RVO, there were 15 cases of gas came out with me on the light railway and then to Tosse hospital by automobile, saw R. Morden in one of the towns as we came through, arrived at hospital at 4:30 p.m., had some supper, have a stretcher to lay on

February 24

Slept good last night, had a wash and shave this morning, service this afternoon by the chaplain of the hospital, they put a big plaster on my back where the pain is mostly, we get good food to eat and I haven't lost my appetite much, out for a walk in the evening and came back, wrote Mother a letter

February 25

Raining today, when the doctor came around in the morning he said I was to go to the rest camp for a while, left Frestend in afternoon for rest cam in Fresnicourt, 8 of us in horse ambulance, in the evening I was down to the village and had eggs and chips

February 26

Nothing to do today but rest up, wrote letters to Will and Emily, weather turning very cold, out for a walk in the evening and afterwards wrote some letters

February 27

Dandy sleep last night and bath this afternoon, feeling pretty good now, down to canteen and managed to get some Players cigarettes as it is usually hard to get any, wrote some more letters, heard today that John Buzza was killed last summer

February 28

Fine day and feeling pretty good, talking to a Mons man of the artillery who was never touched until a week ago in an air raid in London, he was there on a pass, some glass got in his eyes and blinded one eye