Saturday, 6th April (1918)

Today was the first accompanied by evidences of spring, in the song of various birds and the sight of spring flowers.  Up long before dawn – I wrote you a letter to the carol of a speckly-winged Jenny Wren (the prettiest little creature imaginable, slightly larger than our native wren but with a no more entrancing note) and the chirp of a brown hedge-sparrow, and the new melody of a fine green glossy little chap, possibly a green linnet.  The booming of a few distant guns supply the base.

At watering we invaded a paddock with a pond in it and were violently and garrulously attacked by two women who with much clamour reiterated their own great need for the water and, though we brazened it out for that occasion, we were forced to abandon the idea of continuing the practice.  It seemed petty, seeing that any moment the Huns may blown them and theirs to glory and we are the only people to stop it.  This afternoon up at the guns and the most noticeable thing was to see where the Hun had been bombarding a village and missing it by a couple of hundred yards – a field on the outskirts being simply pock-marked with shell holes.  And shell-holes with their blackened brims look more offensive in green fields than in the Abomination of Desolation [i.e., Passchendaele].  I have just drawn water from one of the public wells on the road side – it was so deep one would expect it to leak through into N.Z.

IWM Q 10863 Artillerymen resting near Boues, 5 April 1918

[Image: Artillerymen resting in a copse near Boues, 5 April 1918.  IWM (Q 10863)]

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