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The 1918 Wartime Diary of Private Charles Robert Bottomley

August 1, 1918 -- Warned to pack up and take out the guns. We were relieved by an Imperial Battery at 9 p.m. and night arrived at the horse lines in Burnville about 12 at night. We started out on the road right away on our way to the Sammiens. Arrived at Magnicourt about 6 a.m.

August 2, 1918 -- Arrived at Magnicourt 6 a.m., unhooked and had breakfast. Then, went to bed until noon. Raining all day. In the afternoon, had a little sleep again. Had supper and then laid down until 1 a.m. next morning.

August 3, 1918 -- Started out to entrain. Left Magnicourt horse lines 3:30 a.m. Entrained at Benin Sef-O'Shell and started with the horses and guns packed away in the cars. Arrived the other side of Amiens about 9 p.m. the same evening. Had a night march and arrived in a big bush where we made the horse lines about 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

August 4, 1918 -- All the Canadian corps were billeted away in the big forest and bushes around. Went to bed and got up about 4 p.m. The drivers started to pack ammunition during the night. All kinds of traffic going up the road during the night.

August 5, 1918 -- Got up at 6 a.m. Working around horse lines and getting the gun ready to go up the lines. During the night, all kinds of tanks went up the lines from the largest to the little whipper. Our drivers were packing ammunition again and were out all night. Running most of the night.

August 6, 1918 -- Got up at 6 a.m. Working around lines. Met Young, Judd and Jarvis in the morning. Went up to the gun position with Corp Thackery. Guns, tanks, everything connected with the war, were going up in an endless chain. Helped to unload the packhorses. At night, Fritz was shelling the roads pretty bad. Jack and I slept under a tank all night.

August 7, 1918 -- Fixing around the gun all day. At night, the remainder of the crew came up. Five of us slept in the open under a tank all night. About midnight, Fritz started to shell pretty fierce and one shell dropped near to our sleeping place and hit. The five of us, Foley, Ailes Johnson and Wright, went down the line. I was only slightly wounded and carried on.

August 8, 1918 -- Barrage started about 4:20 a.m. and lasted until 6 a.m. Our lads went over the top and got Fritz on the run. We followed and crossed over no mans land. Saw the dead and wounded. We must have travelled about 8 miles before we pulled into a position at night. I was pretty well tuckered out, Cashy.

August 9, 1918 -- Got up at 7 o'clock, had a wash and shaved. After breakfast, our infantry attacked again but was held up in a village. Also around an orchard, the tanks attacked and got the Hun going again. We pulled in the orchard and fired a few rounds. Advanced again and got in action behind a big bush. Fired a few rounds and then stood down. It was great to see the cavalry and horse artillery dashing around.

August 10, 1918 -- Got up at 6.30 a.m. for a stand to fire a few rounds and salvos the infantry. With the help of the tanks, got the Hun going again. The Canadian Corps were relieved by the 26th Division B & F and they kept Fritz on the run. We were ordered to take a rest for a few hours. Traffic was going forward all day. During the night, Fritz was bombing around the transport and horse lines.

August 11, 1918 -- Slept under the limbers. Got up at 7 o'clock. Laid around all day. Fritz was again shoved back during the day. At night, he came round bombing. I dug myself a hole to sleep to protect me from splinters. Had a good nights sleep.

August 12, 1918 -- Slept in a hole I built to protect myself from the Fritz bombers. The 12th Division Artillery and Infantry were in reserve again all day. Fritz was again bombing our gun during the night.

August 13, 1918 -- Got up at 7 a.m. Laying around most of the day. Saw five Hun airmen bring one of our planes down. In the afternoon, one of his was brought down. At night, several of the boys went up the line with ammunition. Percy Hinds, one of our crew, went up also and was wounded Fritz again bombing

August 14, 1918 -- Laying around most of the day. The attack had settled down quite a lot. Occasional artillery duels during the night. Fritz was bombing very close and it made things very uncomfortable. Fritz brought one of our planes down during the day

August 15, 1918 -- Got up. At 7 o'clock, Fritz started shelling around with a very fast naval gun. He killed and wounded several of the infantry lads around during the day. Also some mules we had. Our wind up pretty near all day. During the night, he was bombing the forward area. During the shelling, the 10th Battalion had a 100 casualties just ahead of us.

August 16, 1918 -- Got up at 7 o'clock. Laid around most of the morning. Pulled out of the position in front of Foley and went over to our right. In the position about one hour and got orders to move again about 2 miles forward in Fritz old 1915 line. Not a nice smelling place, dead men and horse laying around Parveillers.

August 17, 1918 -- Got up about 4:30 a.m. and fired a few rounds. Fritz came back at us with his pip-squeaks and 4 -2 naval guns. No one hurt. During the day and night we fired a few rounds at him, Parveillers.

August 18, 1918 -- Moved out again at 4:30 in the morning, just a few yards behind the forward guns. Went to a Fritz dugout and found a well. Laid around and fired a few rounds to make Fritz feel miserable. During the night the 18-pound gun put up a terrific barrage.

August 19, 1918 -- Got up at 7 o'clock. Slept in funk hole all night. Fired a few rounds during the day. Also dug a pit to lower our gun. The heavies and the 18-pound guns gave Fritz an awful trimming all day. During the night, he dropped some big shells around. Nobody hurt I believe.

August 20, 1918 -- Got up about 7 o'clock. During the day, we fired about 200 rounds per gun. At night, the infantry were being relieved by the French. Fritz was also bombing around the back areas. Had a pretty good night's sleep in my funk hole. Move to Cayuix.

August 21, 1918 -- The French artillery had pulled in during the night and we were under orders to pull out. Pulled out about 9:30 p.m. and Fritz put a few parting shots after us. We were on the roads until 2 a.m. and then we pulled in some bush near to and rested during the next day, Boyette Woods.

August 22, 1918 -- Got up at 8 a.m., had breakfast and washed and cleaned up. We put in a fair easy time all day. At night, we pulled out at 9 p.m. On the roads again until about 10 a.m. We pulled in near a town called Domart. All the villages we passed were all shot to pieces.

August 23, 1918 -- Laid around Domart all day. Pulled out at night and stayed in Boyette Woods all night.

August 24, 1918 -- Laid around Boyette Woods all day. Had a pretty easy time. Stayed all night sleeping out in the open. We had hard trouble getting water down in this country.

August 25, 1918 -- Around the woods all day. At night we pulled out and the brigade marched to the entraining depot near the Amiens main line. During the march, we had a thunderstorm and it rained pretty heavily. Slept under the tarp all night, Prouzel Entrance.

August 26, 1918 -- Got up at 8 o'clock and laid around until afternoon. We started to load the guns limbers and horses at 7 o'clock at the railway siding. Started away about 10 p.m. Fritz was bombing the railway, he never got anything but they were very close. Everything seemed to be jumping in the air.

August 27, 1918 -- After travelling all night, we arrived at Tincques and stayed in a field for a couple of hours, feeding the horses and troops. We started on the road again for Dainville. We arrived there about 5 p.m. Put up the tarp and had a fair nights sleep.

August 28, 1918 -- Started away from Dainville and the 1st Division was put in action again to the right of Arras. We took our guns in action and passed over the ground that the 2nd Division took off the Germans. Made a hole in the ground and had a fair nights sleep, Neville St Vaast.

August 29, 1918 -- Got up at 8 a.m., had breakfast, worked around gun and got things ready for the scrap. At night ammunition came up and during the night Fritz was shelling close to our sleeping square. One shell came near the bivvy and the concussion blew the candle out, Cherisy.

August 30, 1918 -- Got up at 4 a.m. and barrage started about 4:30 a.m. We put over a number of smoke shells to protect the tanks and infantry. Our infantry advanced 1600 yards and took several prisoners. During the day, we fired several rounds. Fritz came back with a few shells and wounded four of the 2nd Division lads in front of us, M Wancourt.

August 31, 1918 -- Got up for SOS about 4:30 a.m. Fritz made a counter attack but was beat back. We took a few prisoners. During the day there was occasional shelling. Our driver taking ammunition forward. Preparing for another big scrap.

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