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Date: March 1918

March 1

Asked doctor to let me out tomorrow but he said I was to stay a while longer, cold weather and a few flakes of snow fell, noting to do all day or evening

March 2

Heavy bombardment this morning and heard Canadians captured 400 prisoners, had a feed of eggs and chips tonight, snowed hard in afternoon and weather is pretty cold, doctor said I would be able to leave tomorrow

March 3

Left Fresnicourt early this morning and came in auto to Force 10, walked from there to Les Brebis and got there before rest of Coy., they came out of line last night, no mail for me because they sent it away to hospital yesterday, got our pictures which Fred and I had taken before went up the line, I took a poor picture

March 4

Cleaning guns in morning, paid in afternoon, feeling pretty sick in afternoon, bought a new strap for wrist watch, to movies at YMCA in evening, heavy bombardments and told 16th Battalion lost 100 men but Fritz never got in our line

March 5

Fatigue work in morning levelling ground in field so as to be able to plant potatoes, bath in afternoon, received a letter from a little girl in the 1st M. Church in Hamilton, every one in her class sent a letter, stand to but didn't go up the line for there was no attack, wrote and asked Mother to send me seventy-five dollars to be ready for my pass

March 6

Fatigue work in the morning on the ground spreading manure, etc., fine warm weather and plenty of air activity and artillery fire, warned that we might have to go up the line tonight but didn't go, wrote home and asked Mother to send me the money via the Bank of Montreal or Dominion Bank in London

March 7

Cleaning guns and ammunition in morning, played cards today, had a bath tonight with Fred and Sgt. Cook, had a great time and bathed in the officers part of the bath, fine weather, working the ground and getting ready to plant during the afternoon

March 8

Mechanism and gun drill in morning, inspection by O.C. for all the Coy. during the afternoon, left at five o'clock to go up the line and pack ammunition in one of our SOS positions, ride back on a limber, got back in time for a good sleep, hurt my hand on an iron in the ruins of an old house in St. Pierre while carrying a box of SAA, fine weather

March 9

No parade for me because of last night's trip, went to a lecture in the afternoon in the YMCA on what was to be done during the demobilization of the army, Charlie Grey and I went to a place near Maroc and had eggs and chips, had a letter from John Sparlan, very heavy bombardment this morning

March 10

Church parade in morning to the Church army hut, fine warm weather, the time changed today all over France and clocks moved on one hour, received a book of views of Hamilton from Mother, 15th Batt'n lost 173 men this morning through gas, very lousy, cleaned up for another inspection by O.C. tomorrow

March 11

Another inspection by O.C. of all the army, had to "stand to" in the evening at 6:00 p.m., down and ready to move off in 11 minutes, barrage drill in afternoon, warm weather

March 12

Two of our planes down in the morning and one German plane, saw them come down in flames, left at 5:00 p.m. for the line, going in to build MD emplacements, gas drill in morning, received a letter from Aunt Maggie and another from Emily, Germans sent over a lot of gas after we arrived but didn't hurt any of us, billeted in Loos, didn't do anything tonight because of a raid we made

March 13

Gathered camouflage in the morning on the Lens-Bethune Rd., in the afternoon Niblock and Patterson went down a 50-foot cave by rope and couldn't climb out, we pulled them up but they were in a dangerous position for a while, on a working party tonight and started to build positions in front of Buggs Alley, back at 1:00

March 14

Gathering lumber and making frames for the positions this morning, went up and relieved a gun crew of the 1st Coy. but were sent back because our officers read the orders wrong and we were a day ahead of time, digging until twelve tonight on gun positions, Slessor got an MG bullet through his lung, will live, I was standing near him when he was hit

March 15

Colder weather, some German red balloons came over carrying bundles of newspapers printed in French, relieved the team from #1 Coy. tonight, very busy position called Highball off Netley Trench, we are to send over 1,500 drums of gas tonight if wind is favourable

March 16

Warmer today, fire 1,000 rounds at a German that kept coming over but no luck, received a lot of mail tonight from Canada, German raid repulsed last night, no gas sent over because the wind was in the wrong direction, Mother sent me two cheese cloth shirts

March 17

Warm again today, pretty heavy shelling all day, had a few hours sleep this morning, can see a long way behind German lines from gun position

March 18

Warm today, big smoke came over German line and our artillery shelled the point from which it started, received letter from Herb Perry and wrote back, big gas attack by us tonight as wind is right, received a box from Brownie

March 19

Raining hard all day, went for rations for team, received a box from Mother with sweater, pen, etc., down to see Jack Higlam in Loos and had a fine feed

March 20

Raining hard today, water in trenches above ankles, German MG bullets striking about position tonight, scared a party who didn't know the password tonight and held them up with my revolver until they found out what it was

March 21

SOS went up this morning and fired quite a bit of ammunition but the attack was driven off, warm again today and ground starting to dry up, German anti shrapnel bursting about me and falling all about while on aircraft patrol, we sent over a big gas attack of a new deadly gas, all our guns and artillery opened at 11:40 to keep Germans in their dugouts, received quite a bit of mail

March 22

Warm today, fired 1,500 rounds at German planes, very poor rations, received a letter from Ralph, had a good sleep today

March 23

Weather fine, went for rations in evening, got off the right track and was away up near the front line before realizing where I was, heard today that Canadians are going to Cambrai to stop the German attacks there, nearly had 12 direct hits on our gun position

March 24

Warm, left the line in afternoon and carried all our stores, viz: belts, armour, tripod, etc. down to station dump, clear moonlight night and both sides bombing every night, arrives in Les Brebis at 9:30 p.m., slept in billet near end of town

March 25

Revellie at 6:30 a.m., breakfast at 7:00, bath at 7:45, fell in at 9:30 and marched to Marqueffles, had to ditch a lot of my stuff, it being too heavy to carry, arrived at Marquffles at 11:00 a.m., cleaning our guns and ammunition in afternoon, big battle down at Cambrai and the Somme, warned to stand to tonight

March 26

Fatigue work in the morning, called at 4:00 a.m. and had to get ready to move up the line for German attack expected, colder today, Germans shelling Paris, 13th and 1st Coy. left for unknown part, likely Cambrai, standing to in afternoon

March 27

Breakfast at 4:00 a.m., marched off at 5:30 to Camblain-L'Able, stayed there all day and heard rumours of Motor MG getting wiped out and later of a big British victory, ditched all blankets but one and leave tonight at 12:00 p.m. on motor trucks, saw Alex Roberts as his battery was passing by the 6th battery

March 28

Got on bus at 1:00 a.m. at Chateau De La Haye, had to march from Camblain-L'Able to get there, bus ride for 8 1/2 hours and stopped at Mondicourt, bus stopped about 5 kilo from town, raining hard and no rations, had to stand to all night with equipment on, all men tired out and fall asleep at every stop

March 29

Took bus this morning at 9:00 to Gowory, fine today and not raining, left at 11:00 p.m. for the trenches in Arras for Germans made 9 attacks yesterday and gained a mile, down in a chalk mine in Arras, the mine is so big one can easily get lost, Good Friday today

March 30

Doing nothing today, fellows lit fires in mine and it's full of smoke all the time, can only see about a yard away the smoke is so black, Germans didn't attack this morning as expected, raining a little today, Arras shelled during the day

March 31

Clear day, down the main part of town hunting souvenirs, Germans shelling town and two killed in front of our cellar, spotted some transports going through, no sleep at night, saw ruins of famous Arras Cathedral