Morning arrived and we still wallow in mud. Snipers are very busy and dangerous. The cannonading on both sides is awful but spectacular. Hell let loose.
Shells bursting all around, but luckily we had built a bomb proof shelter during the night. We get scant rations, bully beef and the biscuits we have in our haversacks. Other trenches have hot tea etc; we are unfortunate and have nothing.
Night comes on and also more suffering and sniping. Our gunners simply blow holes in the German trenches and killing many.
Men go out after dark a distance of a mile to draw rations, under a sniping fire. I am one of the party. Return but fall down many a hole. We keep a sharp lookout but “nothing doing”. Our suffering from cold and wet thro’ and no cover. Oh its really indescribable. The walls of the trench cave in and we have to work with our hands in the mud and throw it back again to build up the embankment. The Germans are firing all the time confound them and throwing out star shells which illuminate the ground as almost day. Lots of men groaning in agony with the cold and wet. It’s painful to hear them. Morning appears and I’ve had no sleep. (A one pound tin of Bully all day)
*Star Shells – Artillery shells used to illuminate the battlefield during the night. The shell’s contained a magnesium flair which would ignite and illuminate large portions of the ground below it. The shells were outfitted with a parachute to allow them to fall to earth more slowly thus providing light for a longer period of time. Star Shells were also sometimes used as signals.