9th August – flattened village

Posted: December 29, 2016 by saraherhodes in 1916

The last few days we have been on a trench salvage job. We have been working from the German first line and working forward. It is a most interesting game. From the condition of the ground around, and the equipment and ammunition etc. lying around one can read how the fight went. The various sectors where we had the ascendancy, and where the Huns had their “day”.

I am quite used to seeing dead Germans and collecting their gear off them. The best of it is that they have been dead since the 1st of July.

There is a village where we are working – the walls of the houses are at most three feet high, and any trees about are blown to smithereens. It seems to me that the cost of war depends more on the wastage than the consumption. The number of bombs and ammunition that we have collected in two days would surprise you.

The artillery is something terrific here. The poor old infantry cop it every time. We have our turn in the front line tomorrow night I believe.

I heard Jack Clarke tonight – he was mixed up in a scrap where we were before. He survived quite successfully.

The dugouts in the Hun line would surprise you. They are big caverns cut out of chalk rock. They go down for about 30ft. and open out into big galleries – all timbered up and fitted with tables, beds, electric light etc., and some go down 20 ft. below the 30ft. level. They are almost shell proof and are a marvel of trench warfare. The bosches evidently intended staying here for years. Of course the Australians must be mixed up in the move. He blames them anyway. I am satisfied we have the ascendency over him in artillery, aerial, and infantry here. The town is which we are billeted has a big cathedral knocked to pieces, it is a marvel of shell fire. The whole town has been knocked rotten time and time again.

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