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Date: August 19th 1916

Saturday August 19, 1916

We went to Dickebush, 7 ½ miles away, across fields, along railroad tracks, trench railways, etc. in the dark and thru' the mud to Dickebush. We landed there about 10:30. A few of us were billeted in the cellar of an old hotel on a corner Fritzie has marked out for machine gun fire. I was the first one down stairs and got the best bed, - a storm door on a nice slant, with a few empty sand bags to pad out my poor skinny bones. Our estimable cook came along with us and got us some hot tea. So we had that alone with cold fat ham, jam, bread and butter. Then sleep blessed sleep. Then we woke up to this world and its work, worry, toil, pleasures and anticipations, disappointments and hopes. This sounds a bit prosy, but it is true. Life out here is packed pretty full, and the unexpected happens very often. We got our bath at a little place called La Cleete. We changed our sox, killed all the relations we could find resting in our clothes, then hoofed it back to Dickebusch. About 8:30 p.m. we started back for Spoilbank as we call our present underground home. It is really a spot on the Ypres Chomines or Chomee Canal. We had a slippery muddy walk home as it had rained a lot in the mean-time. I went down on my hands and knees four or five times and was plastered beautifully with mud. My rifle was plugged with mud. When near home we got in the old bed of the canal. Fritzie has it down fine. He knows that a lot of men move up and down here every night. So as we went along he treated us to gusts of machine-gun fire. We nearly rubbed our noses in the mud kow-towing to him. But everybody got home O.K. This underground home of ours will be awful in the winter. Even with two nights rain the main saps (or passage ways) are ankle deep in water.

Five men have to go out to work in the sap from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. So the sergeant made us all cut deal with a playing card set. I lost so I was one of the favoured (?) ones to get up at 8 a.m. and go to work.