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Date: August 21st 1916

Monday August 21, 1916

I have fired my first shot at Fritzie.

Left the Canal at 11:30 p.m. and got up to the front line here by about 12:45 a.m. relieving C Co. Well here I was at last facing Fritzie. I seemed to be strangely calm and confident. On my winding path up here I tried to think how I would feel if I was mortally wounded, and thank God that in spite of my unfaithfulness to him in many things I felt a sincere surety that all would be well. I found myself pointing confidently and expectantly to my Savior. When I felt sure of this I took heart and was no longer afraid. Praise be to a patient and merciful God for all his goodness.

The night passed very quietly. Of course Fritzie strafed us with his machine-guns and spattering rifle fire, and we replied in the same tune but no one was hurt. It feels odd to hear the bullets plugging you little mud wall full of shot holes, and me on the other side of it separated by inches.

The forth division has been made. And as we expect to move down to the Somme shortly the fourth Div. Fellows come up with us a few new ones every night, to get broken into the game. We tell them and show them all we can to help them.

The meals here are very indifferent and scanty, but thank Heaven I'm a small eater, and not much of a drinker. Some of the fellows feel starved. I was under actual gun fire today. It was only a few rum-jugs though, and it is easy to dodge them unless they come over in bunches. A rum-jug is just a high explosive steel cylinder about 8 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. It comes slowly through the air tumbling head over heels. It explodes on contact and for the size of it does a lot of damage. Then both sides exchanged lots of whiz-bangs, (ordinary 18 pounders) shells.