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Date: April 1918

April 1

Shelled all about us today, one knocked front of house down while we were in the cellar, another detonated on edge of the doorway while we were inside, one foot to the right and all of us would have been R.I.P., received some letters last night that I was supposed to get while in hospital, got a lot more ammunition up for our guns

April 2

Down in the main part of Arras today, got lots of souvenirs, some of the fellows got tight on champaign and wines they found in the ruins of some houses, received two letters from Canada, getting pretty fair rations, have a cold in my head

April 3

Quite a lot of artillery fire from both sides today, weather cloudy, team went up the line tonight, very dark and muddy, we packed ammunition to gun position, was lost four times, got back to Arras at 5:00 a.m., four casualties to date, relieved Imperials and Canadians are disgusted with them all and don't wonder at the Germans advancing here and at the Somme

April 4

Was guide this afternoon for officer to guns, coming back a shell struck within 30 feet of me, was saved because I flopped, when I got up a lot of gas from the shell got in my eyes and blinded me for a couple of hours, guided ration party up again tonight, very dark and pouring rain, mud and water nearly up to knees and shelling all about, back at 1:00 a.m. and soaked through

April 5

Bought a lot of cigarettes at the YMCA stall in the caves of Arras for my team, Abbot killed this morning, guided another ration party up tonight, very dark, just got back to headquarters when a shell killed nine and wounded twenty four others about 100 yards from entrance, I bandaged a man who had his arm just about blown off and also his leg, found him in ruins of a house were he had crawled to

April 6

Carrying ammunition, Germans didn't attack as expected this morning, wrote a few letters, received a box from Tucketts and another from Brownie

April 7

Clear day, took a ration party up tonight, Germans putting over a lot of onion gas, had a very narrow escape tonight from a Whiz Bang Strafe when up near forward gun position, again when nearly in Arras we were shelled and had to run to shelter of cave, Imperials relieving Canadians tonight, Cumming of my team wounded this morning, we get relieved tomorrow night

April 8

Misty and damp today, stand to at 4:00 a.m. but no attack came off, up to gun positions in afternoon, general shelling all over front, being relieved tonight by Imperials, came out on light railway and didn't arrive at Gouvis until 7:00 a.m. next day, went about three times the right distance and had a car run off the track

April 9

Slept until afternoon, packed limbers, ready to move up in afternoon, cleaned a bit in afternoon, wrote a couple of letters in the evening, transport moved out tonight

April 10

Muster roll in the morning, left for the line at 5:00 a.m., went up close in motor lorries to St. Nicholas, relieved Imperials in support trenches in little bivies, very bad cold and nearly lost my voice altogether

April 11

Fine warm day, quiet last night, very poor rations, bully beef, tea, hard tack and one piece of bacon each day

April 12

Fine out and we lay about in sunshine, wash and shave in the morning, lots of German planes over, better rations today, our position about a half a mile from other positions in front of Arras, we are about the same distance from the Scarpe River

April 13

Foggy today so we moved forward and dug in, worked all day on a bivy, raining tonight, all of team tired out when we finished, down to a bath near St. Nicholas today and had a bath

April 14

Misty all day so camouflaged our position pretty well, found a little stove and put in the bivy, other half of team came up so went back near
headquarters for a little rest, on gas guard tonight, shells landing at intervals about 150 yards away, MacDonald wounded at arial position

April 15

Good sleep today, on working party tonight to help clear out entrance to dugout, wrote letter home, received notice from Dominion Bank of money awaiting me there

April 16

On working party this afternoon, better rations for today, took headquarters rations up tonight, rumours of more German victories, wrote letters in evening

April 17

Raining some today, they took about ten men from B Battery to form neucleus of another Battery from more men drafted from the infantry, wrote a couple of letters in afternoon

April 18

Weather cold, relieved this afternoon by H Battery, marched back as far as St. Nicholas and billeted in an old hut about three kilos from the font line so shells occasionally fall around

April 19

Cool today, wrote a couple of letters today and received four from Canada, Houston, Patterson and I walked to St. Catherine in evening, quite a lot of gas shells fell near us tonight, good sleep tonight, first time I had my clothes off except for a bath for over a month

April 20

Warmer today, gun drill and PT in morning, heard of Canadian mail in today but none came, German attack tonight and our artillery put up a heavy barrage, up reconnoitering for gun position in case Germans broke through

April 21

Went sick this morning and got a little medicine for my voice, went for a walk to the outskirts of Arras this evening, did nothing in afternoon except write letters

April 22

Fairly quiet on this front today, haven't been paid since March 27 and everyone is broke, changed billets to others further down in the town of St. Nicholas, up the line again today with section officer making range cards for reserve gun positions, a little better rations

April 23

Mess orderly for the section today, a few gas shells fell near tonight but nothing unusual up the line

April 24

Gun drill and physical drill in morning, received some Canadian mail tonight

April 25

Paid this morning, 45 francs, bought some things I was in need of with the money, our artillery put over 6,000 shells tonight, raining a little today

April 26

Up the line this morning putting up stakes to mark new reserve gun positions, O.C. inspection in afternoon, got some new clothes from Q.M.'s tonight, misting in morning

April 27

Nothing much to do today while new men received instruction on gun, expected to go up the line tonight with other #1's but orders were cancelled, fair rations, quiet on this front today and tonight, will be going up the front line this trip

April 28

PT and gun drill in morning, rifle exercises in afternoon for whole Battery, warned at five to go up the line at six, all #1's came up, on different front from last time and marshey land, no front line here, just outposts, our position one has to speak in whispers because so close to the Germans, eat and sleep in a pill box but gun position is 200 yards in front

April 29

Raining today, met our party on the way in and acted as guide, very dark night and poured rain, bivvy at gun position flooded

April 30

Went on guard this morning at 5:00 a.m. for a 24-hour guard, rained all day and can't keep dry, night firing tonight at forward position