beyond the ridge. Being under
hostile observation, we all feel
that we may be fired on ay any
moment, so have split up in
small groups. We were told
that we were only going in
reserve, but now orders are that
we take over the front line
& go "over the top". I feel a
little downhearted because one
never knows how lucky he
will be when in the thick
of another battle. I have been
picked to take the first gun
in action. A letter just came
from my mother. I wonder
how she would feel if she
knew I was preparing to go
into battle - to kill &
perhaps be killed.
Later. - We advanced night
after dark. As we stood on the
edge of of the woods forming
our ranks, the Germans put
a box barrage over on us
& killed about 15 of our boys.
The colonels horse was also
killed. A German spy in a
nearby town signaled our
positions to his artillery. The
Australians captured the spy,
also his orderly, & shot both.
I am under cover in an old
filthy horse stable, just a few
yards behind the front line.
The air is full of gas & many
dead men, women & children
lay around here. An old man
is dying just a few feet from
me. About midnight I was
awakened, or rather startled by
rifle fire just outside of my
barn. Drum was with me
& we both jumped to our
feet thinking that Fritz had
come over. It was strange
to stand in the dark, facing
the door, ready to shoot
down the first man who
entered, but lucky for us
the firing was merely to