MONDAY, MARCH 6th

Got back here to Englebelmer at 5.00 p.m. Found everything changed. ‘B’ and ‘C’ had gone into a new line on left instead of right of Downs. ‘A’ and ‘D’ were moving here and came in about 7.00 p.m. Pratt goes in this evening, and I relieve him Thursday. I go over this a.m. to see the line, which is knee deep in water. Snow again last night and today. Fearful upset of everything. People here, there and everywhere. No mess or Orderly Room here. However, I believe when things are sorted out we shall do six days in and six days out at Medauville, but we shan’t go out till next week, as 12th [Royal Irish Rifles] don’t come out till tomorrow, and will want six days rest. Meantime we stay here as the other place is full of troops. We are now in the new X Corps and 4th Army, commanded by Rawlinson. Cramsie has gone into Brigade Office vice Ken., who has gone as bottle washer to Singleton. Padre has had to go to Field Ambulance as Manning is sick. Not room in line for more than two of Bn. H.Q. at a time—rather a nuisance. I think it is an easier bit of the line, and will be all right when the weather takes up.

I have been ordered to send in the names of three officers and three N.C.O.s for reward, in Birthday Gazette! I protested we had done nothing so far to deserve honours, but was told to obey orders! I have sent in the following names—H., F., and C. J. I went into the line this p.m. Rode to Auchonvillers and then walked down trench, over knee deep in icy slush, in parts. I found Atkinson and the two Coys cheery as ever, and working away hand pumping and baling. They had improved things immensely by their hard work. The nights must be bad, standing in this icy slush. I think it is a fairly easy bit of the line, and very straight-forward, and no nasty places. A poor H.Q., only holds two, and detached kitchen, and small stove. I expect cooking is sketchy. Pratt has gone in tonight and I shall go in on Thursday. Do you see they have made Going a Brigadier? Wounded were all only slight, I’m thankful to say, so far. Two last time in. They seem to have got on all right, but had rather a bad time. Send all socks and keep making more. I’m quite warm and have never felt cold in day time. Reason why they relieve every 48 hours at Ypres is the trenches are so awful. Berry returned today all right again.


Footnote

On this occasion, none of the nominations succeeded in gaining reward for those put forward. Both the Padre and the Quartermaster would be well rewarded for their later gallantry.

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