3rd January (1918)

The night is clear cold and luminous, with Jupiter glittering in the East and his amorous consort glowing in the West, as on several former occasions.  Today Fritz has been visible at high altitudes having pot shots at our balloons with ‘time’ high explosive, his favourite anti-aircraft weapon.  They burst in ragged little puffs of black smoke and are appropriately known as “Woolly Bears.”  Tonight soon after dusk he bombed the neighbourhood very heavily and put the wind up us.

The waltzing of the waggy-eared ones at exercise this morning was dithyrambic, but lacked the true Grecian elegance, very few of them having the frost nails in yet.  As a result of the cold weather on chronic sore throats two of the boys in our tent have lost their voices, and speak in husky whispers; but they are great sports and almost every evening, but special request, they honour us with a short duet, “Down where the Swannee River Flows” the melody being just discernible through intermittent wheezes.  Picket last night was rather a freezer, but we had plenty to occupy the time in collecting the hay-nets as soon as they were emptied (if you don’t, the animals munch up half the string of which the nets are made and spoil them), catching straying donks, and endeavouring to straighten their covers, which they also eat and tear about into fantastic shapes.

nlnzimage 10x8-1806-G Artillery New Years Day 1918

[Image: New Zealand artillerymen in action, 1st of January 1918, The Butte, Belgium. Photograph taken by Henry Armytage Sanders.  National Library, Ref. 10×8-1806-G]

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