TUESDAY, MARCH 7th

Such a sharp frost, the sharpest we have had yet. Hard to keep warm in bed. Yes, Byng got the XVII Corps. We are now in X Corps, commanded by Morland. Had a long trek round the trenches with Fergie this p.m. In places they are bad and will be worse when the thaw comes. A man in ‘C’ was badly wounded near us by a whizz-bang, four shrapnel wounds in his head. Fear he will not recover. Stewart is his name.

I had a long talk with our new Battery Commander, Sebag-Montefiore, (our own gunners have taken over the line) a most capable fellow. He says the men are coming on fast and have done a lot of shooting. We still have our old Heavies, only new Field Gunners. We relieve the two Coys in the line by the other two tonight. I relieve Pratt Thursday. We come out Sunday now, but another Coy goes in Thursday, as we take over more of the line. This bit of the line is more convenient both as to relief and the shorter distance to carry supplies. Better dug-outs, a good deal, and with fine weather will soon be all right. I believe we go out to rest at Hedauville about two miles back from this. Wheatley is Lt. Col. of the R.A. Bde. [Royal Artillery Brigade] I knew him in India and ’Oky—a fine fellow. He was commanding XVII Brigade in 29th Div. at Gallipoli, so has seen a bit.

Keep sending socks and candles. Socks urgent. Nice gum boots, wear them out, very soon. Have got the paper about forwarding comforts. It’s hard to make head or tail of it, but as socks and candles have not materialised yet I have written him saying we want them urgently. A letter from Duchess of Abercorn about prisoners’ comforts. Must now wrestle with Battalion accounts. Sharp frost again. They threaten to take Pratt for Divisional School.

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