Diaries; 26th – 30th September, 1914.

Saturday 26th September: Vendresse

All night long the Germans made desperate attempts to break through our lines but were always driven back. It was a terrible night and daylight they are still at it. We have our hands full of wounded again and shells and bullets are flying about. This is the liveliest day we have had this last week. It is just like the first day of this battle over again.

A few of the South Wales Borderers were captured and we had 104 wounded to bring in but we got them away in the wagons at night. We had to bury a few also, one being an Officer of the South Wales Borderers. There were a good many German wounded to look after also.

We seem to be just holding this position and no more.

We went off to have a few hours’ sleep after a hard night and day’s work. There is a great many British buried in the Church-yard of this village also on the sides of the hills round about.

Sunday 27th September: Vendresse

The day has opened quiet but as this is the Germans favourite day-Sunday I expect we will get it hot enough before night. We are still getting a few wounded after yesterday’s hard fight. Just what I expected, in the afternoon they opened a terrible artillery fire on us. This house we have made into a hospital belongs to an Admiral of the French Navy, it has some fine big cellars in it where we put the wounded for safety. We, the Bearers sleep in a barn next to the house. So in the afternoon when they started to shell so heavily, with their coal boxes, we were ordered down the cellars beside the wounded. We have had to do this a few times now.

We had just left the barn this afternoon when a coal box went right through it and landed in the yard in front of the house. It did not burst though it made a big hole in the roof and side of the barn. Our luck is still in. We shored up the roof and intend sleeping in it tonight shells or no shells.

We have had very few wounded after all the shell fire about 20 or 30 though the Germans made another attack after the shell fire. They must be losing a terrible amount of men.

We had an issue of tobacco today a thing we have not had for a few weeks now.

Monday 28th September: Vendresse

Still another day of the same as yesterday but not so many wounded or shells either. We had a good look at the hole the shell made in the barn yesterday and realized what a narrow shave we all had but a miss is as good as a mile. We are still sleeping in the barn and trust to luck they won’t hit it a second time.

Tuesday 29th September: Vendresse

We were awakened in the middle of the night by a terrible rifle and artillery fire; the enemy had made another attempt to break through but were again driven off. Their artillery kept at it all night and all day till well on in the afternoon it gradually died away till only a gun now and then barked and a shell dropped in the village doing very little damage as all the property in the village has already been damaged.

We had to bury 5 more men tonight who had died of wounds before we went off to sleep.

Wednesday 30th September: Vendresse

This day opened very quiet till the afternoon when an artillery duel began on both sides but no attack was made. The Engineers were measuring where the shell came through our billet to get the range of the gun. They say the Germans have 32 of these guns along this front, 4 being against this village. They gave us another 2 hot hours before dark putting a few through the church doing little damage though we had a few more Camerons wounded and 5 more men to bury.


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