I went way down the communications trench to Zillebeke. A most horrid storm arises, the wind howls thro’ the much battered woods (Sanctuary Wood) accompanied by snow, hail, sleet & rain. The night was tempestuous & the elements vied with cannon to make the loudest frightfulness. Hideous in the extreme. I lose my steel helmet so have to trek 5 miles without it, snow & hail mix with my hair, frightfully cold. I fall into many mud holes, shell holes and disused trenches. Am covered from head to feet with mud of all colours & reeking with the stench.
We pass through Zillebeke after taking 3 hours to travel a mile. The 43rd were in the Common trench with full pack on same as us. Difficult to pass each other. Rotten bad management. Passed along Menin road and thro’ Ypres at 3 am & took train outside.
*Brodie Helmet – Also called Steel or Mark I Helmet was the first steel helmet worn by British, Canadian and American troops during the First World War. The use of artillery shells resulted in increased head wounds and made steel helmets a necessity. Their bowl shape with wide brim allowed for protection from Artillery bursting from above the trenches. The Brodie Helmet was used by Canadian forces into the beginning of the Second World War when it was replaced with a modified version.