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Date: August 22nd 1916

Tuesday August 22, 1916

In the bay where I was this afternoon during the usual 4 p.m. or 5 to 5:30 p.m. bombardments, Fritzie sent over a whiz-bang which burst just on top of the parapet. Pieces of shrapnel buried themselves in the earth near us. Three of us were thrown flat by the force of the explosion and half buried up in fresh earth. Then while we were still lying flat, trying to get up to scurry around the corner of the traverse, another whiz-bang knocked in another part of the parapet just over us. That is about as near death as I have come yet. The rest of the afternoon we were running back and forth from one bay to another dodging rum-jugs. Fritzie razooed us pretty well that afternoon. Our support trenches were pretty well wrecked. Fritzie was very severely handled too so tonight both sides could be heard quite plainly using hammer and saw, mawl and spade.

Last night I spent my first time on listening post. It is kind of a nervy job. As soon as the evening gets a bit dark the first relief climbs over the parapet at a selected spot and crawls alone in front of the trenches till it reaches the listening post. This is simply a spot in front of our trenches chosen because the relief will be hidden. It is usually a clump of bushes, or some old shell-hole. The listening post is used for the purpose of keeping a closer watch on Fritzie's trenches, so that if he shows any activity at all such as to send out a bombing party or a working party. It is sometimes a nerve wracking job if one is not in a well covered position and Fritzie finds the place. He is constantly sending up flares just to find these places and to nab our working parties, scouts, and snipers.