26 July 1916; Wednesday

Got piece of shrapnel out of the L† & Y1 shoulder2. Stayed up until 1.30, then lay down until about 7 o’clock. Had quiet night although the Germans sent over gas shells all the while. Were relieved at 8 o’clock. Marched down to dressing station, then to the billets near the chateau, after calling at an Army Service park. Got to know a big ammunition dump had been fired. Sergeant Jones killed and Sergeant Brown wounded about 8 o’clock. 2 men gassed the night before and a few men down the line. Fine day. Returned to old billets with Lavere. A dead German buried in the side of the trench and his foot sticking out and smelled horribly. Got to know a day or two ago that Ted Trim had got a DCM3 on July 2nd. Received parcel from home and letter from Joe. Had eggs and brown bread and butter to tea.

Two pieces of trench art (the matchbox cover engraved "The Great War"; the paper- knife engraved "Albert", and "Ancre" on the reverse; the handle is a spent .303 cartridge, for a Lee Enfield rifle or a Lewis machine-gun); and a piece of shrapnel preserved by ALL (exact origin not known but possibly related to the July 26 diary entry).
Two pieces of trench art (the matchbox cover engraved “The Great War”; the paper- knife engraved “Albert”, and “Ancre” on the reverse; the handle is a spent .303 cartridge, for a Lee Enfield rifle or a Lewis machine-gun); and a piece of shrapnel preserved by ALL (exact origin not known but possibly related to the July 26 diary entry).

  1. “L & Y”: the “L”, though unclear, seems corroborated by ALL’s transcription (but should be “Y & L”): the 8th and 9th Battalions of the Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment were in 70th Brigade, 8th Division – not the 34th or 19th Division, but nevertheless in the central sector of the front. 

  2. ALL wrote in his more detailed 1976 narrative that he had kept this piece of shrapnel as a souvenir – possibly though by no means certainly the one in the illustration accompanying this entry. 

  3. “DCM”: the Distinguished Conduct Medal was for Other Ranks; officers got the Distinguished Service Cross.