Tuesday, 8th January (1918)

On a fatigue all day shovelling and carting manure.  There must be enough manure in France by now to fertilize the Waimarino Plains.

When we got up this morning the ground was hard and black, with thousands of little ice-puddles gleaming all over, but very soon it snowed.  And so it has remained all day, a mass of glittering white with blue shadows and every dark thing whether animate or inanimate standing out against it in the sharpest relief.  A tender brownish-red sunset, to end the day, was caught and reflected on a million little rumples of snow.

Intensely cold.  Old Jove is right overhead and his coy spouse has done a bunk below the horizon, in fact she has dodged right under the bed clothes.

The Civil Servant has had his christening today, going up to the front and getting in the way of a bit of mud from a shell-burst.  He has returned full of heroism, and is now being drawn on with sly humour by the old hands to expatiate on his experience.

IWM Q 9804 Canadian Artillery 8 January 1918 near Ypres

Image: A battery of 6-inch guns of the Royal Garrison Artillery, covered with camouflage netting in the snow. Near Ypres, 8 January 1918.  Imperial War Museum, Q 9804.

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