SUNDAY, MARCH 19th

Another good day. We moved three Coys into the trench line last night [Auchonvillers], and one here [Englebelmer]. Went in about 3.00 p.m. and stayed talking over things with Bull till 7.00 p.m., when I walked back here. The 12th [Royal Irish Rifles] have done a good week’s work and the trenches are beautifully dry. They seem to have got some heavy guns up opposite us now. They have been putting over some 8-inch stuff, but not nearly as much as we gave them. Two more officers joined about 11.00 p.m. last night. Both from the 3rd Battalion, and one in 4th Hussars! The 2nd Battalion are, I believe, on their way back here from the East to this front. A fearful squash in this place. Leave re-opens for us on 22nd. Am sharing Fergie’s bedroom, with his office and mess room next door. Such lovely moonlight nights, as light as day. No trench feet with us. I might get away about 1st week in April. We come out of the line to H_____ [Hedauville] on 24th, and go in again 30-5 [i.e. 30 March to 5 April]. At present I go in for three days and Pratt for three days, but that may alter any time. I can do so much more administrative work here; it’s useful to be here sometimes, i.e. with Fergie, etc. Transport at E­­­­_____ [Englebelmer]. Lots of our planes being shelled all day and prevented crossing the line.


Footnote

The two officers who joined were Lieutenant Edwin Alfred Godson, who had been wounded serving with 4th Queen’s Own) Hussars and had transferred to Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) earlier in the year; and Lieutenant Ernest Trafford Owles, who had been wounded serving with the 2nd Battalion. From now until the end of the war the reinforcements of officers and soldiers would comprise a mix of new men and those recovered from wounds or illness who had served elsewhere. Godson went on to earn the Military Cross twice and Owles earned the Military Cross as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps.

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