1 July 1916; Saturday

Awoke with the cold. Dozed off a few times. About 6 o’clock awoke with tremendous heavy fire and big shells flying overhead1. Watched troops moving up. Had breakfast. Cheese, biscuits and butter and tea. Received orders and then returned to the dugouts. Bombardment continued. Lincolns2 moved off first and captured first line. Reported that desperate fighting is going on and that the 8 Division has lost half of its strength. Watched German aeroplanes being shelled. Batteries behind us pounding away all day. Lay in dugouts all day. Beautiful day. Didn’t wash or shave all day. Used unique latrines. Watched wounded walking and riding back. Turned in about 10 o’clock and immediately received orders to go up. Fell in in 20 minutes and marched off. Sat near the church in Albert about 30 minutes , received shrapnel helmets and then marched off. Terrific bombardment going on and the sky lit up with flares and guns. Left equipment at aid post and marched up trench.

  1. This was of course the start of the battle of the Somme. For those unfamiliar with what happened in the first few days of the battle, I venture to offer a brief outline on this page

  2. “Lincolns”: these may have been the 2nd Lincolns (in the 8th Division), or more probably the 10th Lincolns (in the 34th Division.) Both these divisions were in III Corps, which in turn was in the 4th Army (under Gen. Rawlinson.)