At 6.a.m. this morning, “Boot, saddle, to horse, and away” as Browning has it – and we have been going hard ever since, shifting the guns forward about 2 miles and carrying up to them loads of ammunition.
Now hard on the Hinderberg line. Saw a desperate attempt to down one of our balloons thwarted by ‘archies’ – not that their shooting was any good. Traversed rather dreary country dotted with dead horses and men and battered villages.
After Midnight: A very strenuous day – After tea we were called out to shift the gun position once more. Got there whilst still daylight, and then made two heavy journeys to and from the old to the new. Came most of the way back in pitch darkness at a trot, reloaded at the dump, and after struggling about in the dark unharnessing and feeding our horses, got to our billets sometime after midnight. Toil, sweat, sore in the seat, knuckles barked with handling the shells, tempers strained to breaking point – and so the advance goes on. I wager that an advance is every bit as much a tax on men and animals as any retreat.
[Image: Second Battle of Bapaume. Dead German soldiers in a sunken lane near Moislains, 6 September 1918. IWM (Q 7044)]