One of our aeroplanes is shot down by German aeroplane. Awful distressing sight to see it turning over & over. Fell over Asylum N.W. Ypres.
Go out to sketch Rampart for Sir Max Aitken, stay out one hour but have to take cover from fierce shelling by enemy. Am interrogated by officers & police many times.
To St Martin Cathedral at 8:30 AM to get a piece of wood for a straight edge, mine mislaid or taken.
Working hard all day making maps & sketches.
Enemy shell Ypres vigorously. Have to quit work in afternoon as concussion from shell blows my place in. Heavy shells fall all around my drafting room. Have to leave & take up quarters in the Ramparts. Many wounded brought in.
Enemy open up with serenade of heavy shells Shrl & H.E.
I worked yesterday from 8 am until 1:30 am this morning.
Enemy busy shelling Ypres & Ramparts with 5.9 & 10.5 in HE & shrl.
A Pte. Bishop & self go along Ramparts & canal all around Ypres. Troops shoot fish in the moat. Two swans are still in moat around Ypres & the female has a nest of young ones.
*H.E. Shells – High Explosive Shells were shells with a strong steel case, a bursting charge and a fuse, the fuse would detonate the bursting charge turning the shell into hot sharp shrapnel that would be discharged at high velocity
An enemy & one of our own aeroplanes are brought down by shell fire.
Enemy lets loose with big shells on Poperinghe & Ypres 30 shells on Poperinghe, & only 5 burst killing 3 men.
Much aeroplane activity. Our [Ho?] fire shells with 10.5 & 5.9 HE [high explosive] and Shnl [schrapnel?] The enemy using Russian Shells.
Pvt. Harrison & I go thro’ Cloth Hall & Cathedral at Ypres.
Enemy active above our position. Big shells, mostly shrapnel.
Map drawing up till 1 PM. Obtain a pass to go for tour of inspection in trenches. Whilst near Gordon Rd. & fire trench a snipers bullet struck my steel helmet filling up back of neck with sand from another bullet. There was considerable noise caused by ring of steel helmet. Felt very nervy afterward. Later on I crawl on hands & knees along sandbag walk & duck board walk. Arr back at Ypres Ramparts safely @ 7:30 PM.
Two men killed on Ypres market square.
L/C George Rowley hit by bullet (stray) which lodged in his leg – a lovely Blighty one.
* A blighty wound was one serious enough to warrant recuperation away from the trenches, and even a furlough in England (“Blighty”), but not so serious as to permanently maim the victim. Sometimes such wounds were self-inflicted.
Appointed Brigade Draughtsman & Sergt. i/c [in charge] of intelligence work.
Have orders to go to Ypres for map drawing on Brigade Staff. Leave Ouderdom @ 2 PM, arr Ypres @ –. Enemy shell vicinity vigorously & heavily.
As I approach Belgian Chateau a shell approaches & bursts only 30 yards in front of me. Hardly had it burst when another approaches & I am in a semi dazed condition not knowing what to do.
I trip over wire & am saved a few yards further on. 6 shrapnel shells burst in rapid succession over the road. Am lucky again & miss the bullets. Arrive at Bde Hqr in the Ramparts @ Ypres at 5 PM.
Hun airmen drop messages into Poperhinghe to the effect that he will drive out British from Ypres Salient before 9th.
It rains all day most unmercifully absolute wretchedness prevails. Colonel Buller lines up the troops & praises them for good work done at Hooge & Ypres Salient expect Huns to break thru at St Eloi.
Battn is relieved by 60th Battn Canadians in pouring rain & well-stirred mud. Plentiful supply of shells are falling. No. 3 & 4 take train outside Ypres for a place between Vlamertinghe & Poperinghe then march to D camp in long rubber boots on a bad road. Arrvd in camp at 5 am & slept till afternoon dog-tired.
Russians capture Trebizond.
*The Trebizond Campaign – After a series of naval and land operations beginning on February 5th 1916 Russian Troops were able to push the Ottomans away from the ancient port city of Trebizond. It was captured on the 15th of April 1916 as Ottoman troops abandoned the city during the night.