Sunday 17th September: Ginchy
We were at it all night again getting the wounded in from the front line and by daylight had everything very well cleared.
The battle ground is a hell of a sight, dead lying everywhere and dugouts full of German dead. The German dead are about eight to our one all around here.
About mid-day we were relieved and after some dinner we packed up and marched back to Happy Valley, about 5 miles behind the line, where the whole Guards Division have come back for a rest.
We lay down in the open for a good night’s sleep.
Monday 18th September: Happy Valley
We were roused by the rain battering down on us so had to get up about 6am; wet through; cold and fed up. The rain came down harder than ever as the day wore on, so we set out and found a few sticks and made a bivie to protect us from the rain. It was still raining when we lay down to sleep at night with our clothes a little drier with the aid of a fire.
Tuesday 19th September: Happy Valley
We had a better night’s sleep though it is still raining but not as heavy. We were expected to move from here tonight but did not do so.
This is a big camp all around here with all classes of troops. Some in bivies, some in tents or huts and some in dugouts. It is called the Citadel.
Wednesday 20th September: Happy Valley/ Carnoy
Another rotten day and it is still raining. The French have been hammering away from early this morning and are still hard at it.
We received sudden orders to move back into action again, another attack coming off, so we moved off from here at 5pm and marched to Carnoy which took us over three hours to reach as the roads were knee deep with mud.
We lay down in a field in Carnoy and slept there for the night.
Thursday 21st September: Carnoy/ Frooms Wood
We marched off from Carnoy at 7am and marched to Frooms Wood then 16 of us were told off for duty in the support trench on the top of a ridge overlooking the village of Morval and Lesboeufs. The Regimental Aide Posts are in this trench and the first line is about 300 yards in front of us.
We have a fine view from here of the German lines. We can even see their observation balloons rising from the ground and the town of Bapaume in the distance. Through glasses we can also see Germans walking about and their transport on the Bapaume road. Shells are dropping all around them.
This is the finest view of a battlefield one could wish to see though one has to be careful and keep your head down as the snipers are knocking about and our Artillery Officers observe from here.
We had very little to do all day as the wounded can only be brought down from the first line at night.
Friday 22nd Septemeber: Frooms Wood/ Ginchy Ridge
We had a terrible night last night carrying wounded from the support trench back to Ginchy Ridge. It was so dark one could not see a yard in front of him. Every squad that set out with a case got lost and had to lay down in a shell hole with the wounded man and stay there till daylight before they could find out where they were. Every squad was the same, it was impossible to find the way in the dark.
Walking over shell holes and dead, on slippery ground in the dark, is rotten work and there are shells dropping round about all the time.
We were relieved at 10am by another 16 men and came back to Ginchy Ridge where our Dressing Station is now. After some breakfast we were out helping to make a road for the Ambulance wagons up to the ridge in front for the next attack.
At night a party of us went down to Guillemont road to bring up the rations and were again lost in the dark but managed to get back to Ginchy Ridge about midnight.
Saturday 23rd September: Lesboeufs
We were out all day digging a dugout out of a shell hole just behind the support trench on the ridge overlooking Lesboeufs so as to be ready for the next attack. The Germans were dropping a good many shells around us but most of them passed over our heads.