9 July 1916; Sunday

Lay down on stretcher to sleep as Germans were putting Jack Johnsons1 into the wood a few hundred yards away and we were in easy range. They were trying for the batteries behind us. Hurt knee on barbed wire on the night before and it was very painful. Marched down to Albert. Germans commenced to shell the town again. Were all done up, and were taken back to Laviéville by our motors. Got decent billet in a barn. Scraped clothing and cleaned up generally. Had a bathe and shave. First wash for 3 days. Plenty of tea. Bully again. Bread ration served out and I used some fresh butter received from home. Turned in early and slept well. Notes on front. Most horrible sight – men dying on top of dead. Coolness of some soldiers. Two soldiers trembling with fear who were to go over the top last Sunday morning. Our aeroplanes complete mastery of the air. German artillery not to be compared with ours.

  1. Jack Johnsons: German 150 mm heavy artillery shells, which burst with characteristic black smoke. After the boxer Jack Johnson (1878-1946), the first black American world heavyweight champion (1908-1915).