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Diary, August 11-17, 1918

Aug 11- went on duty at 8 AM. got thru at 2:30- marched to Amein Albert road and went toward Albert. to res trenches there- releiving the 132 Inf. got in before dark. saw the 1st. dead man on a stretcher. Big guns all along road. watching 2 Howitzer thru my field glasses (No 88121). Shells sure have been flying thick over our heads for our Batteries are doing some heavy shelling.

Aug 12 Mon went on duty at 2 AM. got an hours sleep. am on till 8. guns quiet now 5:30 AM. Advancing fast in Villers Brenteneaux sector. captured over 17000 men up to yesterday. Resistance heavier north of Morlancourt & by Albert. I slept all day from 8 AM. eat a bite for supper & went to bed again.

Aug 13 Tue. got up & shaved packed up and went to 1st Bat. Am now closer to the line. my place is beside a 9.2 Howertzer. the concussion is terrible. 12:30 P.M. Jerry sending over a few shells. All our guns going. one hell of a noise. I fired the big 9.2 Howertzer once. I wonder what that shell did? The concussion of the gun & recoil nearly upset me. Sure deafening. Had my ears full of wadding. 9.2 inch shell. high explosive weighs 285 lbs. got my emblem engraved on my ring today.

Aug 14-Wed- last nite he sent us some gas shells - so I had to put on my mask for an hour. took charge of visual post at noon. this evening I went to town 1 mile south of here that Jerry shelled yesterday afternoon. every building has had 1 or 2 direct hits- church all blown up. 1/2 of the town still standing. It sure is in a terrible condition. Jerry still going back on this front. got a swell picture & letter from Cecil (July 18)

Aug 15-Thur Real early they were shelling Albert-Ameins road- north of us & extended fire to reg. Hdq. Now they are shelling to the front of us a few hundred yds. this afternoon shelling a battery 100 yds to our left. this evening I went out to locate visual posts & got lost. strayed into a system of trenches toward Jerrys sniping out posts before I seen my mistake, had rather a hard time getting my self located but got back all O.K. Ill admit I was rather up against it, being dark & no land marks to get myself streightened out by. Am on duty 24 hrs a day. Have charge of Sta. 11 P.M. doing some heavy shelling now directly in front of my sta.

Aug 16-Fri. got to bed at 1 oc AM. got up at 9. Jerry planes over this morning. this afternoon shelling very close to us. My cane was stolen this eve. I carry my 45 all the time so no one will souvinere it.

Aug 17-Sat. we are moving out this evening 130 relieving us. guns now moving up thick for a push. 7 PM. Shelling road I have to go over. 7:30 PM. just got over the road & he begins shelling it again. I now have me a swell little dugout. But while hunting for one I was driven to cover by 2 shells lobbing down close- 1 not over 50 ft from where I was. just got in trench & another hit almost exactly where I stood, pieces went flying over our heads. I was on South side of Albert Ameins road and about a dozen fell right close- mostly on north side of road. 1 shell hitting directly in the trench wounding 5 men- 2 dead. this happened about 30 ft. from where I was. He was shelling all over. no gas.

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August 1918