7 July 1916; Friday

Called out of bed at 7 o’clock and told that we should have been on parade at 7. Hurried up, packed our kits†, and grabbed breakfast as best we could – biscuits and tea. Marched up to château1 where we found * bother†. Some very heavy bombardment going on most of the while. * * *. Sat in the ruined château in ruins. Marched up the line. Got lost as usual and squads were hopelessly mixed up. I kept with Paddy Graham and we carried a case along with some regimental bearers. I assisted a man who was suffering from shell shock. Returned and carried a man, he died as I was carrying him. Had violent convulsions, tried to vomit, and then died. Beautiful sunset. Night worse than in nightmare. Rained heavily later. Troops passing up trench made stretcher †pair miss†. Sat down steps on dug out until done†. Wet through, cramped and too crowded <to> sleep. Horrible night. Nearly * dead in trench * *.


  1. “Château” and “the ruined château”: very probably Fricourt Château (approximate location shown on map), just north of the village, known to have been ruined by shelling.