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Date: September 12th 1916

Tuesday September 12, 1916

A few of us were taken from manoeuvres yesterday and sent here just behind the supports to act as the 2nd Divisional ammunition column supply corps. It is a soft job and a safe job while our fellows are in the trenches. I thank God for His mercies. We passed through Albert on our way here. It is a wonderful old place. It is just spoilt with shelling both from Fritzie and British. On the top of the big city hall (Note - since found out to be a church), now a big empty shakey shell is a very large gilded figure of the Virgin Mary holding up her child at both arms length. The figure has been knocked over and leans far over, threatening to fall over at any time. Then all the way up here, about six miles, we passed hundreds of field and howitzer batters 18" field and 4.2; 4.5 and 4.9 batteries hidden in folds of the ground.

Here where we are, we are just behind and between Contalmaison on our right and Thiepville and further on Poiziers on our left. We are living in some old German dugouts in an old trench. He has beaten us all round for dug outs. His are deep, big and well timbered and comfortable.

This morning I sat on one hill-side and watched one of our batteries on the opposite slope gradually blown to pieces by German artillery. It was only by blind shooting that he did it for our aeroplanes have orders to keep down every German aeroplane and captive balloon. They carried this out well this morning. A German machine came over and at once, one of ours closed with him. There was a twenty minute flight, both manouvering and each using his machine gun. Our machine flew rings round the Fritzie and finally brought him down, a mass of flames. I just came out of a dug-out in time to see the German hit the ground. Say how we cheered! Strange to say, one of the Germans got up out of this mess of burning wreckage and quietly gave himself up to one of the soldiers who came running up. Now how ever did he come out alive?