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The 1918 Wartime Diary of Private Charles Robert Bottomley

September 1, 1918 -- Got up at 4:30 for a bombardment. The infantry went over the top to straighten the line. Got there objective and took several prisoners. We took our guns forward again and got ready for another scrap. Slept outside and it was very cold. Had to get up for Fritz was shelling very close, Neu Fontaine Crows Nest.

September 2, 1918 -- Started the bombardment about 4:30 a.m. The infantry went over the top and took all objectives, also several prisoners. We went forward about two miles. Saw four planes come down, 3 of them on fire and the men had to jump out whilst in the air. Saw several dead Huns laying around. Two of our balloons came down on fire. Slept in a hole all night.

September 3, 1918 -- Did a lot of firing in the morning. In the afternoon, our 4th Battalion went over and our brigade went forward. We had to go on the gallop for we were in full observation, Got in position in an orchard near Bruissy. Slept in a dugout all night. All kinds of dead Huns around. Fritz shelled very heavy around the village.

September 4, 1918 -- During the morning, we did a lot of firing and Fritz came back very heavy behind us with heavy shells all night. The remainder of the battery came up and the 18-pound guns shelled the Hun all night.

September 5, 1918 -- Got up at 8 a.m. Had a very easy day getting ready for another scrap. Saw a Fritz plane come down. At night, ammunition came up and during the evening, we had a concert in the officers' mess. The officers gave us a good time and we all enjoyed the piano recital. The Hun had left us a piano behind and we claimed it.

September 6, 1918 -- Fritz was busy all day shelling around the village with heavy stuff. Trying to find a 60-pound battery. In the afternoon, we put over 300 rounds into one of his battery. During the night, we moved out and he was bombing the roads. He also shelled our horse lines and killed several horses. Left the lines and proceeded to Dainville. Also bombed the second brigade.

September 7, 1918 -- Arrived at Dainville about 6 a.m. Laid around most of the day.

September 8, 1918 -- Resting in Dainville.

September 9, 1918 -- Resting in Dainville behind Arras.

September 10, 1918 -- Resting in Dainville. Raining all day.

September 11, 1918 -- Went from Dainville to Petewaun via Varnt St. Elor, to take our guns to be calibrated. Went with motor trucks.

September 12, 1918 -- Moved from Dainville to Berneville during the afternoon. We had a pretty good billets and horse lines.

September 13, 1918 -- Working around the gun at horse lines.

September 14, 1918 -- Working around guns at horse lines

September 15, 1918 -- Went to church in the morning, bath in the afternoon and church at night.

September 16, 1918 -- Working around gun and limbers all day. At night went to the Y.M.C.A.

September 17, 1918 -- Working around guns and limbers. During the afternoon, we worked hard.

September 18, 1918 -- Working around gun and limbers. Inspection in the morning. At night, we went to the Y.M.C.A. to attend a concert but the lads were disappointed with it and began shouting it down resulting that the concert was closed down.

September 19, 1918 -- Having an easy time around the vehicles down the line. Went to the Y.M.C.A.

September 20, 1918 -- Morning, a great time around the lines. Raining every day but we had good billets in a barn.

September 21, 1918 -- Having a good time and being fed good. Went to church army hut at night. During the afternoon, heard the 49th battalion band give a concert in the streets of Berneville.

September 22, 1918 -- Was in the church army hut in the morning, also in the afternoon. Went to a service at night in the above hut also stayed to the communion at night. We received orders to proceed up the line. The brigade left Berneville and Dainville about 10:30 p.m. and travelled all night.

September 23, 1918 -- Arrived in Fontaine about 6 a.m. Put up the tarp and slept most of the day. During the night, the boys started to pack ammunition. Getting ready for the battle of Cambrai.

September 24, 1918 -- All the Canadian Corps was around Chering Fontaine, in behind the old Hindlebrough line, getting ready for a scrap. Working around the gun. Fritz was busy bombing around the horse lines during the night.

September 25, 1918 -- Having a good time all day. Fritz dropped three bombs close to the horse lines. The guns started to move forward

September 26, 1918 -- Laying around horse lines most of the day. Took the guns forward during the night after getting the guns in action. We slept in a German 5-9 gun pit behind Bussy. Raining most of the night.

September 27, 1918 -- Barrage opened up about 5:30 a.m. There was a battery of 9-2 rows in line with us. Barrage lasted about 2 hours. We started to go forward about 10 a.m. Went about 2 miles past the Nord Canal through a place called Inchy. Got in action but did not fire. Slept under a tarp near the gun all night.

September 28, 1918 -- Moved forward again about a mile. Got in action in an open field. 4th Division infantry were held up by machine gun fire. We shot up the machine gun nest but the infantry did not go forward very far. Three of our men were wounded by shellfire. Also our Captain wounded whilst leading the infantry.

September 29, 1918 -- Got up about 8 a.m. Started the barrage about 9 a.m. After firing about 1 hour, the prisoners started to roll in. Stayed in the same position all night. Fritz was bombing very heavily all night.

September 30, 1918 -- Firing and shooting up batteries all day put in a very fair time. Slept in a hole all night along with the Sergeant.

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