I fell in with Jolly and other two. Got lost in trench again. Were shelled and had some very near escapes. Jolly and another chap wanted to go back and dump the stretcher. The other men and I won. Found a N.F.1 in a dugout, been there since first charge. Brought him down. Parapet blown in a few yards in front. Very narrow escape. Went back to dugout and waited until bombardment ceased. Brought him down safely. Had to drop out. Fell in again and went up with Sergeant Brown. A lot of wounded and about 70 squads helped. Piles of dead men fearfully mutilated in the trench. Had to step over them with the stretcher. Man on our stretcher had privates shot off. Still advancing slowly. Awful heavy bombardment by our guns. Sergeant More and two privates’ nerve broke down. Received orders to return. Waited until nearly midnight. Lying on the side of the road †commenced first aid for a man with a thumb gone† in his hand. Saw some German prisoners [continued at top of 4 July page – ] Used part of field dressing to bandage man’s hand, injured with explosive dart. Too many things to note.
“N.F.”: Northumberland Fusiliers; the 4 battalions of the Tyneside Irish formed the 102nd Brigade, and the 4 battalions of the Tyneside Scottish formed the 103rd Brigade; these, with the 101st Brigade, formed the 34th Division. The 102nd Brigade was the body specifically designated to capture La Boisselle (see 1 July.) The 102nd and 103rd Brigades sustained higher casualties than any other brigade in the first assault. ↩