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Date: May 1917

[transcription provided by collection donor]

May 2, 1917
Went up over Vimy Ridge to our advanced Amm. Dump by way of the Y trail. On our way back a number of shells burst over our heads & a shower of shrapnel zipped all around us without scoring a hit. At night the shells go over our heads both ways. A few of the Huns’ shells land near us but they are nearly all duds. We are pounding the Boche very hard nearly all night. They get a few of our guns now & then. The Boche planes are very active & seem to go where they please. Sometimes at night the Hun planes come over flying very low & turn their machine guns on us but so far in our camp they haven’t done any damage. Since arriving in this camp we have had sunshine every day. Great weather.

May 4, 1917
Started in to clean up the camp & so set fire to refuse in a trench near our headquarters & left a guard here. Visited the whole camp & all the trenches. Burning everything I could. While at this my Sgt. reported to me that my first fire ran into some cordite & a number of our tents were destroyed & also plenty of horse food. The Col. was running around roaring like a bull. Some of the men had a narrow escape & their equipment was burnt. I also noticed that in some of the other fires cordite was burning.

In the afternoon went up by foot over Vimy Ridge. It was very hot, not much shelling. The Boche have registered on several of our amm. dumps lately.

May 12, 1917
Watched some of our boys coming out of the line following a band. It is something I always stop & watch. The sight of these boys, tired out, covered with mud, carrying their kit & souvenirs. There is something missing which you don’t see, hear or feel, but you know. They have lost many of their friends. Nobody can help admiring these boys as they go past to their few days of rest. It’s a very noble sight & with it is mingled sorrow. Here and there they are cheered. What our Infantrymen put up with, do & accomplish is a marvel. They are the best men in this war & should be considered first in everything.

In the evening Stan Briggs dropped in to see me. He is looking fine but a bit fed up.

May 24, 1917
Went up over Vimy Ridge. Watched Thelus being shelled. Further on at Vimy the Boche were shelling our guns with great accuracy. Visited our advanced dump.

May 28, 1917
Have been having one h--- of a time. What with sleeping in ruined houses, barns, under wagons, dugouts, trenches & tents; and coming in intimate contact & prolonged association with the million & one varieties of insects that the so-called “sunny France” has but are not talked of; only experienced in this country of “No Man’s Land”. I have come to the conclusion that Canada is the only place worthwhile. Even with these hosts that crawl & cling to you – yes & grow fat on you; I am on the whole having a good time.

Now & then I can visit some village back of the line which is not battered up & there in an Estaminet, while enjoying a refreshing drink, I can feast my eyes on one of the finest pieces of cosmetic perfection of the female variety in our area. We look upon this as a change (some change) but it’s dangerous to dwell here too long.

Para typhoid inoculation 1 cc. self-inflicted.