Terrell, Frederick Leopold – August 1917
Spent my first day at pits today, and NEIUPORT [Nieuport] which is close to us is completely wrecked, this is a bad fighting front being very marshy, and full of canals which are bad obsticals to contend with under modern warfare where so much haulage has to be done in removing the Artillery pieces about. It has been raining since last night, almost a continuous rain
Was awakened very rudely this morning at 9 A M by the bombardment put up for the raid which took place, this point is recognised has having the biggest massed artillery of any front since the beginning of the war and also the navy does not forget that they can throw a bit of iron about
…There have been great successes down about Dixmude and Ypres, and our troops have succeeded in crossing Yser and consolidated there.
The anniversary of Britian declaring war, the 3 year, and will go on a deal longer I think. All day long old Fritz pelted the vacinity of Pelican Bridge with 5.9 shells, toward evening the weather cleared and the result was Airial activity was great after sunset, we experienced an incessant fire from Fritz quite a mixture gas shells, 5.9sWhizz Bangs.
A very muggy day though clear and during the early hours of the morning could be heard the continual hammering of our gun fire around Dixmude and Ypres. The sector seems an unreasonable place to advance on account of its marshy nature.
We are in our 4 year of the war and still to the man in the line there seems no end in sight yet.8 August Wednesday
Wrote to mother today and also posted letter which has been written some time to Con Hiles. Pelican Bridge and surroundings were shelled fairly heavy during the day and was the cause of all our communication breaking down as our lines ran through the shelled zone.
A rather cloudy day, a little shelling went on during the day but during the night we were pelted with gas shells and a little. H.E. and Shrap- gas is very unpleasant stuff for one dare not go to sleep while it is about and has to be ready at any moment to put the mask on.
It is now twelve days since I came up to the pits, and am full to the neck with everything connected with war
had the usual gas shell demonstration from Fritz last night
A deal of Shelling went on all day and well into the night, and all in the vacinity of Nieuport Church or what remains of it.
After a very cool night I woke feeling none too good, as I have boils breaking out on me and one feels miserable in their presence.
Things going just the same as usual, for waggon lines, It has been very rough windy weather with scattered showers. Left Pits at 2.30 P M today and had successful run down to Ghyvelde at 5.30 P.M. feeling very tired.
today I took advantage of just coming out of action and had a good rest attending no parade all day.
A fair day so thought I would take advantage of pass which is obtainable three times a week to Dunkirk. Arrived there about 2.30 P.M after spending a little time in Malo which is a very modern biult season resort of Dunkirk. Dunkirk is a place much like many French towns, with its ancient type of Buildings and cobble roads
Guns pulled out of position at Nieuport.
A very miserable wet day, went exercising horses in morning
The first day we have had that has been fine for at least 6 days life in waggon lines is much the same a dreary monotony. We are expecting to leave here tomorrow night, but our destination we do not know. on Stable orderly all day.
Diary of Frederick Leopold Terrell