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Date: May 1917

Tuesday May 1, 1917

Sunny and warm

Around the lines all day. The Bosche rudely disturbed our lunch by dropping 2 bombs from an aeroplane which landed a few yards from our tent. Pieces whizzed all around.

Received two letters from Father and Mother dated March 25th & Apr 1st and one from May dated March 25th

Wednesday May 2, 1917

Wednesday May 2 has been lost track of.

Thursday May 3, 1917

Fine and warm

At the wagon line in the A.M. At 11 A.M. received orders from Bgde to get all ammunition wagons packed & pack horses ready. Either the morning show was a success or a failure. At noon received instruction to hurry up to the guns. Parkinson had just come down wounded in the arm. The battery were having hell shelled out of them. Went forward and found the battery position pretty well shot up. From there went forward to take over at the Bgde O.P. Had a rough ride getting there, having to pass thru a Hun Barrage. After getting there set in a trench all night and the next day under very heavy shell fire. Had difficulty with telephone wire getting cut continuously.

Friday May 4, 1917

Fine and hot.

Spent the day in the trench till about 4 P.M. when we received word to return as all the batteries were out of commission. Got back about 6 P.M. and went to the rear O.P. and slept for 12 hours. straight

The whole last 24 hours was a most unpleasant experience. I'm feeling mighty lucky to get back.

Saturday May 5, 1917


Got up at noon and went down to the guns between bursts of shelling. Found them all in working order but one buried.

Stayed at Bgde H.Q. all night.

Sunday May 6, 1917


Reconnitred for new gun position with Capt. Flexman and decided to locate in Willerval. It doesn't look very healthy but will probably be better than where we left.

Arranged for 250 men to be up there tomorrow morning.

Went back to the rear O.P. to sleep.

Monday May 7, 1917

Fine and very warm

Slept at the rear O.P. last night and early in the morning went into Willerval to superintend the construction of gun pits as we got permission to move out of our zone. Got the pits laid out and started work.

Unloaded 13 G.S. wagons which arrived at 11 P.M. with building materials.

Received 2 letters from May dated April 8th and 11th

Tuesday May 8, 1917

Rain during the night and all morning.

The Village was very heavily shelled ending this morning, so heavily that we had to stay in our dugouts. Started to work on 3 pits in the P.M. Very heavy shelling on our front & support lines. The Bosche attacked heavily and has retaken Fresnoy. The infantry up front appear to be practically wiped out. The roads around this village are being shelled continuously but fortunately he is leaving the village alone.

Wednesday May 9, 1917


Worked on the gun positions all day. Shelled heavily at intervals during the day. Otherwise nothing of note occured.

Wrote May

Thursday May 10, 1917


Still working on the gun pits. Was nearly buried by a 5.9 shell in the morning. It was a mighty close call.

In the evening had 4 men killed and 5 wounded as well as 5 mules killed. These men were from the D.A.C. and were helping us to pack in ammunition. One shell did all the damage.

Moved the guns into the new positions during the night.

Major McKay arrives back to the battery and takes charge.

Friday May 11, 1917


Working on the gun pits all day, during intermittent shelling by the Bosche.

Registered the two flank guns along with the Major in the afternoon. Afterwards came down to wagon lines for a couple of days rest.

Received a parcel from St. Pauls Church. And 2 letters from May dated Apr 15th and 18th

Saturday May 12, 1917

Hot all day with a slight rain in the evening

Lay around the wagon lines in the AM and packed in ammunition from the old gun positions to the new at night. Was very lucky and had no casualties. Got back at 2 A.M.

In the afternoon rode into [?] with Dick Collard

Received a letter from F & M dated Apr 8 and one from Gladys dated Apr 15th

Sunday May 13, 1917


Stuck around the wagon lines all day, doing nothing much

Capt Baker of the old 83rd arrived today and is attached to the 15th Battery

Received a letter from May dated Apr 22

Wrote to May

Monday May 14, 1917


Walked up to the battery in Willerval, getting there about 4 P.M. Stopped off at the O.P. on the way up and located a battery which was firing salvos into our old positions. Reported it to Brigade but don't suppose it will do any good.

Slept at Willerval over night

Saw Jim Campbell who came over with the 1st Draft from the 67th Btty. He is now with the 11th Btty. 1st Div

Tuesday May 15, 1917

Clear and warm.

Went to the new gun position with the major in the P.M. and met a working party of the T.M. men and 20 men of our own. Laid out the gun pits and men's dugouts and started them to work. Quit work at 9 P.M. and sent our men back to camp at the Horse lines and returned my self.

The new position is in a sunken road at the east end of Thelus Village

We are turning our guns and gun pits in Willerval over to the 23rd Btty while we get a new position built and they turn their guns over to us. This arrangement is to give our men a rest. At the expiration of a week we move back to Willerval.

Received a parcel from May containing a [?] pillow, candy &c.

Wednesday May 16, 1917

Rain all day.

Digging the gun pits and mens dugouts all day. It was a nasty job on account of the rain. I got soaked to the skin and was relieved at 9 P.M. by [?] as that I could get down to the wagon line for dry clothing and a good sleep

Let the T.M. men go at 6 P.M. as the job was sufficiently far advanced not to need their services any longer.

The Hun is doing a lot of shelling near us but keeps fairly well over to the right and to the left and behind us. Appears to be after the heavy batteries in our vicinity.

Thursday May 17, 1917

Cloudy and dull.

At the battery position all day digging the guns positions and dugouts for the men and storing away ammunition.

The 23rd Btty delivered over 3 of their guns last night which were put in the pits and lined on their night lines in case of S.O.S. calls.

The major and Mr. Carmichael arrived at 10 P.M. from the Willerval position after turning over the position to the 23rd Btty.

Slept at the battery position.

Friday May 18, 1917

Cloudy but no rain.

At the battery in the A.M. completing the gun positions

Went to the O.P. in the P.M. and registered the two flank guns.

In the evening walked back to the wagon lines.

The 23rd Btty delivered their remaining 2 guns last night which were in place and ready to fire at 2 A.M.

Saturday May 19, 1917

Fine and warm.

At the wagon lines all day.

Received a letter from May dated April 25 - one from Father & Mother dated April 25 & one from the Doc. Dated May 14th

Wrote to May & to Canon Cody

Sunday May 20, 1917

Fine and warm

Rode into Arras in the afternoon with [?]. Had tea at the Hotel de Commerce. The town is pretty well preserved with the exception of the church and its vicinity. The remaining sections are pretty well scared with shrapnel and H.E. but the houses are not wrecked. The people are now coming back and are opening up the shops.

Wrote to the Doc. And to Father and Mother.

Monday May 21, 1917

Warm and cloudy.

Stayed around the wagon line all day resting up.

Received 2 bundles of papers from May

Col. King inspected the wagon lines and hadn't much complaint to make.

Tuesday May 22, 1917

Raining all last night and today

Around the wagon lines all day

Wednesday May 23, 1917


Rode into Villers-aulBois with Capt Flexman in the afternoon. The country is in great shape now. Everything green and the trees out in blossom.

Major Mackay came down from the guns today to spend a few days.

Wrote to May

Thursday May 24, 1917

Clear and hot.

Around the wagon lines all day.

In the evening a Hun plane came over and dropped some bombs one of which killed 8 men and wounded 29 men of a Labour Battalion. Our anti-aircraft guns and machine guns opened up on him and two of our tri planes pursued him but were unable to get close enough to get him although they were within reach of the machine guns. One of our men was seriously injured by descending bullets and one of our horses was hit in the eye. It isn't safe even at the wagon lines.

Spent a couple of hours at the guns while Payley went out on a reconnaissance (in the afternoon)

Friday May 25, 1917

Clear and Hot

Rode into [?] in the P.M. to see the captured German guns which had been assembled there. Enjoyed the ride but found most of the guns had been removed.

Saturday May 26, 1917

Clear & Hot.

Were bombed last night by 4 Hun aeroplanes. It occured after dark. About 25 bombed were dropped in all but with little success. At day break today another plane came over and dropped some more bombs. It is most uncomfortable to know that a bomb may drop near you at any moment and you have no means of protection or retaliation. I'd much rather be under shell fire.

Sunday May 27, 1917


At the wagon lines all morning. Came up to the guns in the afternoon to keep [?] company as he'd had a strenuous time last night. Fritz had done a considerable amount of shelling all night, putting a whizz-bang in a dugout, wounding 4 of our men but none seriously.

At 1 A.M. Monday an S.O.S. went up to which we responded, firing about 320 rounds. The Hun untook to raid our trenches but was driven back leaving quiet a number of killed behind him.

Wrote to May & to Father & Mother.

Monday May 28, 1917

Fair and warm.

Everything quiet during the day in the immediate vicinity, but heavy shelling by Fritz on some ammunition dump and heavy batteries near us. Our heavies however returned more than they received.

Mukle came up from the Wagon line in the afternoon.

Fritz shelled the Thelus road just to the right of our position all evening and night. A number of his rounds fell short and we got the benefit of them. No body was wounded but we spent an uncomfortable, sleepless night. The cook house was hit and one round hit 2 ft from a pile of ammunition but fortunately didn't put it on fire.

Tuesday May 29, 1917

Cloudy and cool

Quiet during the day as usual in this sport. Mukle went forward to our old position in Willerval to take over 3 of our guns which are being moved b by the 23rd Btty.

Mr. Sargant from 23rd Btty reported here in the evening with his 3 sub-sections to relieve three of our crews who went back to the wagon lines

Fritz strafed this section of the country heavily during last evening and night. Mukle & I with a telephonist stayed at the Btty while we sent the rest of the men up into trenches out of the line of fire. Didn't get much sleep.

A Hun plane brought down one of ours in flames this P.M. The pilot did a magnificent piece of work in bringing his plane to the ground. Had it under control all the time although enveloped in flames. The observer jumped out when about 400 ft up.

Wednesday May 30, 1917

Clear in the morning but raining in the P.M.

The balance of the 23rd sub-sections reported in the evening. I turned the battery over to Sergeant and went on to Willerval, getting there about 10 P.M. without any untoward accident.

Feeling pretty tough all day

Thursday May 31, 1917

Fine and clear.

Went over the gun positions in the A.M. and found that the 23rd Had left everything in good shape and had completed the work we had commenced

Feeling worse all day - no ambition at all

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Original Scans