Up 4.30 – sleeping fully dressed saves the trouble of putting one’s clothes on in the morning – and continued pursuit of the Hohenzollern. There are small towns of industrial type in every direction, a mile apart.
The intervening land shows signs of cultivation and a quantity of carrots etc. have already been bagged. After a while shelling began and our guns were put into action. In some places the roads and railways have been blown up and it is necessary to make detours. We are now, I should say, between 12 and 15 miles in advance of yesterday’s position. Funny mistake here. A battery firing from cover of a railway embankment. One crew forgot to elevate their gun and plonked a shell right into the embankment just in front of them. Deluge of gravel resulting, but no one hurt.
Erected a cramped and drunken looking bivvy in which we sit on damp earth listening to the shells. Quievy is deserted, but not very badly damaged. The inhabitants seem to have been moved out hurriedly, their furniture and household goods being littered about, tables still spread with meals; broken windows; wine stagnating in glasses; dismantled beds, hats, parasols, etc. littered about the floors or in the wet yards and gardens. Dozens of towns and hundreds of villages must be in the same condition, the Bosche having taken the people with him as he retired.
[Image: Shows a bridge over the river Selle, built by New Zealand engineers in 13 hours under shell fire. An ambulance and mounted troops are crossing the bridge. Photograph taken ca 31 October 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Ref: PA1-f-092-1114. Note: the NZ Division Diary records that the bridge was built 10-11 October by Engineers, and crossed by 1st Brigade (1st Wellington) at 4.30 am on 11 October, meeting enemy resistance. The photograph was taken some time after this action, with the bridge apparently remaining part of the supply route to the NZ Division.]