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Date: August 6th 1916

Sunday August 6, 1916

Last night we had a bombardment. I knew it was coming for our artillery had orders to stand to. We had the job this time of pushing the trucks up the light trench railway, with a cargo of logs for the dugouts in the front trenches. It was pretty exciting after a while for as we got nearer to the firing line we came under fire of machine guns and snipers. One of our lads got a bullet in the leg. We were pushing along the track when all of a sudden I disappeared. I fell between the sleepers of the track into an old shell hole. Fortunately, the hole was dry. No one missed me so I had to run like sixty to catch up. We had just arrived at our dump behind the front trench when the bombardment began. We could hear rum-jars, whiz-banks, trench mortars and shells of all kinds passing back and forth over our heads for Fritzie retaliated in kind as soon as our guns started though we put over seven or eight to his one. Pretty soon he began to drop shells in around us so we picked up our rifles and beat it for the communication trenches. The shrapnel, in one sport where we ran along was bursting all around us like rain. Dirt and branches off trees around us hit me several times but I came out O.K. About ten of our bunch were wounded, some pretty badly. It was laughable to see the fellows in front of me scurrying around the corners of the communication trench with heads down like so many rats, and I was doing exactly the same too for it was a pretty warm corner. All the working parties dropped their work and hurried back to their billets as soon as Fritzie began to shell them. And all night long the fellows were finding their way home in 2's, 3's and 4's.

Today B Co. has a job cleaning in behind all the houses in the village, so we'll have tonight off. The ground and rooms soon get cluttered up for practically all our rations come in cans. One can of jam between five men for a meal. One can of butter between 9 or 10 men for two days. 1/3 loaf of bread per man for three meals, tea (with milk and sugar every meal). Nearly every dinner time we have a stew, supper jam, bread and butter and tea. Breakfast at 2:30 a.m. when we get back from work is a small piece of fried bacon, bread and butter and tea. I occasionally vary this with a can of beans, or a package of shredded wheat and a can of condensed milk from the Y.M.C.A. store in the village. At present the "Y" store is in an old ruined estaminent (restaurant).