Friday September 1, 1916
We went out to the drill ground to-day for the whole day taking rations with us. We practised open order fighting to prepare for the new kind of fighting on the Somme. Then, very important, we practised with the open fighting responsible men falling out (killed or wounded) and the next in command automatically taking charge. This took place simultaneously in several positions both in major and minor positions. We practised in company formation, - two platoons in line, with fixed bayonets, with bombers on both flanks and a couple of Lewis gun crews in front a little. The third platoon supported and besides carried picks, shovels, and sandbags. The 4th platoon was in reserve. Every man in the company is made conversant with the immediate plan of battle and the battalion and brigade headquarters. This is important for if an attack is broken up, or men separated, a man will be more certain of finding his way back.
The first of the fruits are coming in. Little truck carts (which follow soldiers on the march sometimes). There were white grapes, blue plums, tomatoes, and half ripe apples, besides candy. The prices are very high but soldiers nearly always buy them out in a short time.
There was a gift of cigarettes today and an issue of new shirts. All our dirty shirts, some new, because they are lousy will be buried. And so many people in want. It seems bad and wasteful.