The 1918 Wartime Diary of Private Charles Robert Bottomley

July 1, 1918 -- Reveille 6 a.m. Working around stables. After breakfast, Roy Foley and me took a walk to Lincques and watched the Canadian Corps Sports. Premier Borden Duke of Connaught and Mr. Rowell were present. Also, the Canadian Generals. There must have been 30,000 Canadians present. It was a great day all around. The First Division came out on the top with 101 points.

July 2, 1918 -- Working around gun and stables all day. Things very quiet all day.

July 3, 1918 -- Reveille 6 a.m. Went out on maneuvers through the country. One of our flying machines was working with us during the day, taking pictures of the guns under camouflage. Got back to lines about 4:30 p.m.

July 4, 1918 -- Nothing much doing all day. Working around guns and limbers. Had a walk to Lincque at night.

July 5, 1918 -- Working around gun park. After breakfast, we had gas mask drill and saluting drill. During the other part of the day, we were practicing gun laying.

July 6, 1918 -- Morning, working around park cleaning gun and limber. After dinner, we had flag parade. Took a walk to Y.M.C.A.

July 7, 1918 -- During the morning we had church parade. All the batteries in the 1st Brigade were present. Had the afternoon off. After supper, took a walk to Lincque and met Jimmy Scott of Cobourg on his way to Boulonge.

July 8, 1918 -- Working around lines most of the day. Had a very easy time.

July 9, 1918 -- Working around lines, gun laying and cleaning limbers. Had very easy time.

July 10, 1918 -- Working around lines, gun laying and cleaning gun.

July 11, 1918 -- Went out on maneuvers with infantry and trench. Mortars went in action once. Saw the infantry put up smoke barrages. Got back to the lines about 2 o'clock.

July 12, 1918 -- Working around horse lines and gun all day. Things pretty quiet and we have been having things very easy.

July 13, 1918 -- Working around gun and limbers most of the day just killing time. Went to Savoy at night with the lads of a sub. Called at a French cooking house and had a feed of egg and salad. We saw a fleet of hundreds new motor trucks on the road. Had just come over from Blighty and was attached to the Canadian Corps.

July 14,1918 -- Reveille 4:30 a.m. Got up and packed the limbers ready to move away. The 1st Division, both infantry and artillery, moved back to the lines. We took over the Arris front again. We arrived in Anzin and fixed up horse lines in the field. The left section went into action.

July 15, 1918 -- Got up at 6 a.m. for reveille. Worked around gun all morning. In the afternoon, packed up ready to go into action. Left horse lines about 4 p.m. and relieved an Imperial battery behind the railway track on the left front of Arris Blangy, the worst of the place. On guard during the night.

July 16, 1918 -- Got up at 4 a.m. to do guard on top of the railway embankment. It rained and thundered during the morning. Fritz was shelling in front of us. During the day, we registered the guns also doing our plane guard.

July 17, 1918 -- Got up at 9 a.m., had breakfast, and laid around most of the day. Lot of the boys went bathing in the river Scarpe. Fritz was very active around dropping shells. Hurt my ankle whilst beating away from a bursting shell. Went to bed at 9 p.m.

July 18,1918 -- Got up at 3.30 a.m. for a stand to we were expecting. Fritz over but he forgot to come. During the day we did gun pit guard. Our heavy gun behind was pounding the Hun all day and night. Went to bed about 10 p.m. We were sleeping in a big dugout cut in the railway bank.

July 19, 1918 -- Got up at 9 a.m. Cleaning around gun and doing gun pit guard. In the afternoon, we registered our gun with the 101 fuse. Got through about 5 p.m. Fritz came back with 5 - 9 shells but no damage was done. Our sub was on guard at night.

July 20, 1918 -- Got up at 3 a.m. to do my turn at guard. Did my guard on top of the railway bank. Had a splendid view of Monchy Ridge, the part of the line the Huns were holding. Saw trench mortars being thrown back and forward at each other. During the day, Fritz was very quiet. Canadian mail came in at night.

July 21, 1918 -- Got up at 8.30 a.m., had breakfast, went to the pit and cleaned up. Laid around most of the day. At night, went to the road to meet the ration wagon. Fritz was shelling the roads pretty bad with H.E. and shrapnel.

July 22, 1918 -- Got up at 8.30 a.m. Laid around most of the day. Nothing much. Things very quiet. Received a box from home but contents were bad.

July 23, 1918 -- Nothing much doing all day. In the afternoon, the left section was relieved and they took over the guns in Ashcourt. On guard duty during the night.

July 24, 1918 -- Got up at 5 a.m. to do SOS guard. Got orders to pack up our kit and get ready to move. We left the Blanchy rear position at 9:30 p.m. and came through Arras. What an awful looking sight is Arras. All the beautiful buildings smashed up. Seems to have been a very respectable place during peacetime. Got in the Ashcourt position about midnight.

July 25, 1918 -- Got up at 8:30 a.m., had breakfast, washed and went up to the gun pit. This position was about the best-concealed position I ever saw. During the morning, cleaned up the gun and did a few chores around. During the night, our sub section was on guard and Fritz started to shell around with gas shells and H.E. very heavily. No casualties.

July 26, 1918 -- Got up at 8:30 a.m., had a good breakfast of bacon and porridge. The Colonel was around looking over the position. Fritz was shelling very heavily on our left during the afternoon. At night, our infantry pulled off a raid with the help of the guns about 9 p.m. Raining very hard and things were very wet.

July 27, 1918 -- Got up at 8:30 a.m., had breakfast, went to the pit and did some fixing around. Raining most of the day and the trench was very muddy and slippery. At night, we put over a small barrage in connection with a raid. The first brigade was pulling off on our front. Very successful I believe. Went on guard three a.m.

July 28, 1918 -- Went to bed about 5:30 a.m. after doing guard. The front was very quiet after the raid. Got up and after breakfast cleaned up the gun. In the afternoon, the chaplain came over and we had a nice service in our gun pit. The boys enjoyed the service fine. At night, carrying ammunition.

July 29, 1918 -- Very quiet all day. Hardly any artillery action all day. In the afternoon, we fired a few rounds on our calibrating point. At night, we were on guard.

July 30, 1918 -- Got up at 12 midnight to do my SOS guard. Things very quiet. Hardly any action at all from Fritz. During the day, we were taking things very easy.

July 31, 1918 -- Got up at 8:30 a.m. Had breakfast. Got warned during the day that we were going to be relieved. Also to take out our guns and the division was going to entrain to some point. In the afternoon, did a little registering. At night, I had the first shift on guard and it was a great night to see the different airplane lights in connection with bombing.

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