1st, 3rd, 5th April (1918)

The difference in our condition in fine and in foul weather is inestimable; in fine we can keep dry and warm; ride, eat and sleep in comparative comfort and forget our worries and fatigues; in foul all is miserable, mucky and discouraging.  That is why I harp on it too often.  The intermittent flashes of the guns leaping into the air luridly light up the country-side and the gloomy sky.  “Nothing can harm me – I have dined”.  We have had a morning at home, stables and harness cleaning, preceded by a parade before the Colonel, who gave us a good humoured “sallying up” for being lax about saluting etc.

The weather is typically vernal, Aprilian – warmish with intermittent showers and sunshine.  One finds the immense value of strong teeth when hard biscuits form an important item of fare.  I’ve just crunched up four of them.

I may remark that for trying the temper, getting dressed and packing one’s swag in a low and dripping bivvy or tent is the worst thing.

nlnzimage 1-2 013077-G New Zealand battery in action on the Somme, 1 April 1918

[Image: A New Zealand battery in action on the Somme, near Mailly-Maillet during World War I. Shows two artillery guns with their gun crews and a stack of artillery shells. Photograph taken 1 April 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders.  National Library, New Zealand.  Ref: 1/2-013077-G]