Up at 7:15 am + to Brigade Hd Qrs. saw Wallach. Afterwards to Battn Hd Qrs passed 3 lonely graves + Farm house partly demolished.
Arrived Head Qrs…Hardly there when Germans shelled the place where I had just left. The Farm house was demolished + the ground all torn up around it. I had been extremely Lucky. Would have been killed had I stayed a little bit longer. 5 men of Scots Regt. were in the farm but all escaped injury. When bombardment ceased I go over to see damage done — Very extensive!! The telephone + telegraph wires were cut so I repair them + back to Tea farm.
German shelling all around us after dinner I go explain to Hd Qrs then on to no 3 Co who are in supports to 1+2 Co’s Our Battalion are raining shells on to Huns. As I leave No 3 Co 4 shells burst where I had been + as I stood dazed in the field the fragments of shell fell all round me. The luckiest individual alive¬ as every second I expected to feel a puncture or to be knocked out cold. Arrived back from trenches as a series of Trench Mortar bombs come over from the Huns.
Lonely graves are all over the country with small crosses at head. All particulars are inscribed on zinc plates tacked to cross. One Grave is in a ditch with running water to an unknown soldier. Other by garbage pile, manure heaps. Inside farm yard & just outside some being dug up – deserted on firing line etc.
*Field telephones – During opening of World War One wireless sets were too large to carry into combat so it was necessary to lay down telephone communication wires. Artillery barrages would often cut the lines and they would need to be quickly repaired. Repairing the wires could be a very dangerous job. The Royal Engineers Signal Service who took on this task had casualty rates up to 50 percent during major offensives. As an alternative, runners could be used to relay reports back to headquarters but the time it took the runners to get from place to place often made the messages useless. Though wired communications were mainly relied on, wireless technology continued to develop though the war. Eventually wireless technology became much more practical for battle and nearing the end of the war wireless devices became small enough to take into the trenches easily.