We give Germans a heavy bombardment in retaliation the worst bombardment I’ve heard since Ypres battle. Enemy hard to dislodge, a bloody battle. Our men reach their objective but can only hold portion of Regina Tr. as Germans are in sections.
Much bombing and sniping. Our barrage was not long enough. Altho ‘twas fierce & effective. Many men are killed around us. Stretcher bearers are all heroes. Two old friends are killed, Pt Lavall & Pt W. Dunham. Poor Peter Wallach is missing. He was a runner to Coy officer.
Hell reigns supreme all day. I sketch in front line. My observers are lucky. I have the experience of having a man on either side of me killed. I help bring wounded in. Cpl Armstrong killed.
Bde left Herrisart for Vadencourt via Carnoy. I march with them. Arr. Vadencourt at 10 am. Capt MacDonald tells me the general wants to see me. The General asks me to go on to Albert alone and on to Div. Hdqrs in firing lines to get information of trenches etc. Got on to motor lorry carrying 9’2” shell ammunition.
Arr. @ Albert. Walked to UNSA Hill (Div Hdqrs) got maps & latest news. Our General arrives on horseback with Capt. MacDonald & Lt. Willis aide de camp. General thanks me for the sketch of Ypres Ramparts I gave him. The 3rd Div has no rations so I go into Albert for tea. Have had nothing since Breakfast. When in Albert I meet Sergt Major Foden and the 2nd Sergt. of No 3 Coy. We seek aid of Imperial Troops who put us up for the night in dugouts. Enemy shelling Thiepval and vicinity.
Enemy bombarding Ypres & vicinity. Much aircraft activity – two of our AA guns fire 130 shells without result. (expense) An interesting fight takes place over Hooge but enemy aeroplane gets safely away.
5 of our planes go over enemy lines amidst a hail of shells and return 2 hours later amidst another hail, no damage to them.
In evening I go over Ypres with a dispatch rider to show him the sights. Much shelling of the Lille Gates. Enemy send over gas at 11 PM, 2 & 4 am little damage done.
*Lille Gate – A gate in town of Ypres just south of the city center it is the only surviving gate from the ramparts of the 14th century. The towers at the gate were used as military headquarters for a while due to the protection they provided from artillery fire. These were the only historic gateway in Ypres to survive the bombardment of WWI
Leave Winnezeele for Ypres on a push bike. Roads very bumpy. Arr St Laurent & have a smash up – get it fixed at Watou. Dinner at a refugees, (impromptu) house near Poperinghe. Arr Ypres 2 PM after 3 hours ride. Find 11th British Brigade are still in the trenches. They have lost heavily since occupation. Poperinghe is shelled again.
Bombs dropped last night on Poperinghe. I make large panorama of Ypres Salient – the general desires one & the other to be retained at the Ramparts (this later fell into hands of Australians).
At 4 am I am awakened to take 2Lt Fraser-Luckie (Intelligence Officer) to the front line trenches, observation post, etc. we go via Zillebeke Bend & North Shore Road, thro’ Zillebeke & Zillebeke St, Valley Cottages, Maple Copse, Paynesly avenue, past open country to Vigo St in Sanctuary Wood. See many corpses which have lain unburied since June 2nd tis’ hard to discern & identify Vigo Street and Davidson St. We enter top end of Vigo St. & continue to Winnipeg St which we pass along to Tor Top at end of which we observe the enemy country.
Mr Luckie & another officer making notes. We return via Fort St, Vine St, [Dormy?] house, Tuileries, across country (observed from Hill 60), thro’ Promenade Ctr, Zillebeke Bend, Pathways to Ypres & Bde Hqrs. Time 3 ½ hours away. 2Lt Luckie tenders thanks for interesting trip.
The last Canadians depart from Ramparts (signalling). I am the only one left. In evening I have long chat with the Brigade Major Prideaux of the English 11th Brigade. Kurt Vandenberg of PP’s calls for plans of new dugouts. He can wait! General orders.
Enemy busy shelling Ypres. General Sir S. Hughes visits the Ramparts with his staff. He stands on top of Ramparts to study the lay of the land in the trenches. Pays a visit to my draughting room.
At Ouderdom near Ypres. Have orders to put up Corporal’s Stripes. 42nd Bn lose 6 killed and 30 wounded by large shell dropping into Cavalry Bks. Ypres a Taube flies over our camp & our anti-craft guns drive it off @ 9 PM but not before it drops bombs near us damn him.
Very busy all day making out fresh maps, tracing, etc. to hand over to other brigade. At 10:30 PM we leave Ypres for a camp. I walk out with L/c Driscoll my assistant map drawer & draughtsman. Many shells are sent over but drop harmless among the buildings.
Rain in morning. Occasional showers during day.
Enemy shelling barracks, & etc. Finish sketch.
Enemy shell heavily at night.
Our whole Battn is stationed in Ypres.