Thursday August 3, 1916
Well we moved to another part of the line all night and I wish that we hadn't now. We have to walk much farther and the work is harder. This time we walk north to the opposite side of the hose-shoe in our line.
This time we passed through another ruined village much like the Dickebush called Vermiceille (don't look at the spelling too hard!) but it had larger buildings and better built. But the Huns made a much more thorough job of this place. It is saddening to see the gaunt lonely spectres which were once busy places of commerce and clusters of happy homes. Now even the roads are torn up, or blown up, and the very landscape is scarred and made hideous with broken trees and great shell holes. Poor poor Belgium has paid an awful price for asserting her sturdy independence.
Our working party is now busy cutting a new double width trench for stretcher bearers to carry the wounded back. The Germans know we are there and every night we are searched about every ten or fifteen minutes with gusts of machine gun bullets. One man about four feet from me was grazed on the head by one and is now in England. One Hun machine gunner is an artist. He teases us, just firing three or four bullets at a time. Just as we get up off of our bellies and begin working, he fires another bunch of bouquets at us. He don't seem to care whether we get any time to work or not.
We leave our billets every night about 8:30 and get as far as a place called the Convent Wall in Vermicielle where it is said many nuns were assaulted by the brutal German animals. There we rest till it gets real dusk. We arrive at the job about 10 p.m. and work till about 1:30 a.m. During that time we duck bullets and work like niggers. Then we do our 5 mile hike back again before daybreak getting back about 3:30. We have breakfast of a piece of bacon (maybe the size of a dollar bill, maybe not) tea and bread. Then reclining on our Ostermoor heaps of sandbags we pull off our puttees, pull our overcoats over our respective shoulders and sleep the sleep of the belst till about 11:30 a.m. Then our afternoons are our own, our very own unless we get an extra fatigue to do.