Have nothing to wear today, so put new blade in razor! Pratt’s suggestion. We had a great strafe on last night, a cutting out expedition on our right, and we pounded the Hun trenches with all sorts from 9.00 p.m.to 10:45 p.m.—a deafening noise. Haven’t heard result yet. Think they were surprised as they only made a feeble response in guns. Went out to the marsh posts at 4.00 a.m., then to service 5.00 a.m., so began the day early. Padre is off holding services all round. Fine again, sunny, but N. [north] wind; rained again heavily yesterday; heavily from 3.00 p.m.—7.00 p.m.; trenches running rivers again.
The gunner officer down here for this 24 hours was Battery Q.M.S. [Quartermaster Sergeant] in 120th Battery, had 18 years’ of service. Came out with 5th Div. and was all through the retreat. Seems quite a nice fellow, and young looking. He says the Archies [anti-aircraft guns] are manned by R.H.A. [Royal Horse Artillery] Wheatley has gone to R.H.A. No one in his place yet.
Am getting out the cows to graze today, two at a time, and tethered as there is quite a lot of grass. We had one man, Bryans, from Armagh, wounded last night, carrying rations; bad I fear—M.G. bullet in back, and still here. Internal haemorrhage. Aeroplanes active today again, on both sides, first time for some days owing to weather. A fine drying wind. I hope will dry things up a bit. Bryans was in the last draft. Attwell, John, wounded slightly 21st. The Russkys seems to be pushing well. They are wonderful soldiers. When one considers the heavy knocks they’ve had, their recuperative powers are great. Poor young Bruce Armstrong, in Boyle’s R.E. Coy, was killed yesterday by a trench mortar, I hear. Instantaneous. Result of raids—13 prisoners, our casualties five wounded, Hun casualties I haven’t heard.
The raid referred to was conducted by 48 men from 17th (Service) Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry (3rd Glasgow) in 97th Brigade, 32nd Division.