SUNDAY, JULY 9th

We move tomorrow about 7.00 a.m., but where to is obscure. I believe about 10 miles back, near a railway. Some say to go to St. Omer to refit; others to go into the line near La Bassée.  Church parade was a sad one today with the depleted ranks. It seemed to bring home the loss of our gallant comrades. I stayed for communion. The Padre was wonderful; he brought tears to my eyes, but he said exactly the right thing. At last, I have sent off the honours list. Charlie has recommended all. Very close and warm today, and dust flying. There is a possibility that some of our wounded in and near the German line are prisoners, ‘At.’ among the number. Could you get the D. of Abercorn’s Association to try and find out if any Irish Fus. were taken on July 1st, and if so, names.

The difficulty of our surplus kit crops up again on a move to a new area. The Division are going to make a big dump, but it would be unsafe to leave private kit here; bound to be lost. We are going to hire a country cart and take private and mess kit along with us. Another man came in and said Montgomery and Hollywood were lying dead close to him. T. was also seen to fall. Pratt and I passed Haig on the road near here, walking evidently for exercise. His horses were being sent home and his motor had gone. He has grown stout since I saw him at Mhow, in 1894. The 1st Battalion were also in the Push, N. of us a few miles.


Footnotes

1. Only one soldier of the Battalion is known to have been captured on 1 July 1916—20500 Private Thomas Warren. He was wounded in the attack and died of wounds in captivity on 4 July 1916; original buried in Velu churchyard, his body was reinterred in Favreuil British Cemetery.

2.  The 1st Battalion was in a reserve role in 10th Brigade, 4th Division, taking part in a number of smaller actions during the course of the day, in particular an attack on the Heidenkopf—known to the British as the ‘Quadrilateral’; the Battalion lost 10 killed in action, 93 wounded (some of whom died later) and seven missing.

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