SATURDAY, JULY 29th

Captain P C Radbourne

Captain P C Radbourne

We are to be relieved on Monday, and go to that wood where we were for one night before we came in here—a dirty place! Personally we are much more comfy here, but it’s a change for the men, who are not comfortable in the front line in this heat. No shade, and heaps of flies. A farewell letter from Spender, who has gone as G.S.O.1., 4th Army, with rank of Lt. Colonel. He is now with XV Corps in the thick of it. Saw P. today in the trenches. He said the ‘Russkies’ were doing well. If only they could make Austria sue for peace the Huns would be done. See from a German Col.s letter, in Friday’s ‘Times’ that they have suffered badly. M.G. fire was not so bad last night. Think the Huns were relieving. The heat is making people cranky, and is rather trying. We here are really well off, and have shade and air. Drinking water is a great difficulty. It has to be brought about three miles and then carried up to the line, about ¾ of a mile, in petrol tins—our bit is quite short, only about 400 yards, instead of 1,200, which means much less fatigue. The Bosche has just started with 5.9’s on the dump, about 300 yards behind us. Of course, nothing there at this time.

10.30 p.m.  M.G. fire not so bad tonight. The new Captain, one Radbourne, a Colonial, was with Botha in S.W. African campaign. Shill. knew him in 10th. I have put him under S. to learn trench routine. They’ve sent back my application for V.C. for Cather, to put it stronger, and send in quintuplicate! They are the limit. It’s so hard to write without exaggerations.


Footnotes

The details of German casualties referred to by Lieutenant Colonel Blacker were contained in the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Bedall, the commanding officer of 16th Bavarian Infantry Regiment, who was captured on 13 July. The contents of the diary were abridged in the ‘Times’ on Friday 28 July.

‘Captured Colonel’s Diary. Bavarian Losses on the Somme.’ (28 July 1916). The Times. p 7.

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