The Gen. looked in about 2.45 p.m. and ate his sandwiches in Shill’s room, and I went and talked to him. He fears no conscription for Ireland. H.Q. will not send English drafts to us, possibly to force Government hand about conscription. Anyway the outlook is bad for us. They propose various schemes. Two cooks were wounded by a chance shell yesterday. Poor Buchanan has lost his eye, and may have his brain injured. Kiely hit in arms and legs. Miles, slight in thumb. Bosche heavy T.M. more numerous and annoying. They have got at us every day, and we retaliate with T.M.’s and Hows. [howitzers] So far their damage has only been material, but they make a great to-do and mess. Heavy shrapnel they also indulge in. Their M.G. is certainly less violent.
So glad you saw young Wingfield. Such a nice boy. Delighted he is getting on all right. They Bosche has been very active all day. Began at 10.00 a.m., when the T.M.’s shelled our front line for ¾ hour. We gave him heavy stuff back, but he put some more ones about 12.30 p.m. He was active all round from 3.00 p.m., and finally gave us a dose of heavy stuff at Bn. H.Q. from 4.45 to 5.30 p.m. Some very near, and one actually hitting the Elephant. Tables and shelves tumbled down, and my torch was broken, and a spout of water rose from the floor, but no one was touched. In fact we have escaped any casualties today, wonderful to say. I am getting our Heavies to shell his Bde. and Bn. H.Qs., which I hope will tickle him up. Padre went to see Buchanan and Kiely and found them both doing well, though the former had had his eye out. Duke was down today. He is a nice fellow and always helpful. I had left my despatch case unfastened; it was hurled to the floor and articles scattered.
Been so busy all day. Round the three Coys in a.m., Conference and then to support Coy (‘C’) where Padre had a service, then on to see Cole-Hamilton, and so home. Quiet day after yesterday’s heavy strafing. Shill. and Pratt have been promoted [to major and lieutenant colonel]. Been a very fine bright day, and healthy. We need candles badly now. You might send two chickens some time. No rain since we came into the line, and weather very nice; not cold.
First touch of winter in the air last night and today. Wet this a.m., now sunny, but a sharp feeling. Night fairly quiet here. There was a strafe on further north; not our Div. Rain showers during the night has made everything messy, especially when repairs to trenches are going on. Saw young Edgar today and had a talk with him. He was looking very well. We go out tonight after a rather rough time. The right Coy. have had a bad time.
I have got a recreation hut for the men and a Sergeant’s Mess going, and three more huts for the men. Relief satisfactory, and I was here [Red Lodge] at 7.00 p.m. I am afraid there are many who do not realise what practical patriotism means. We have an afternoon strafe on, of every sort of missile, and the din is hideous. Have been wrestling with officers’ promotions all p.m. We’ve got a stove working in the hut, and a window in! So it’s quite comfy.
Such heavy rain all night, fine now, but of course everything messy. Have managed to make every man up to three pair socks. The sun has come out, but the clouds are heavy all round.
Heavy rain all night and today so far—a depressing wet Autumn day. The nights now are most fearfully dark, literally inky black. I couldn’t move a yard without my little torch. Roumania seems in a bad way; outranged in guns. Rain stopped and sun struggling out. Just off for a walk. Dark at 4.30 p.m. now.