Ward diary, 6 October 1914 - 28 July 1915 / Eric Harford Ward - Page 28

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[Page 28]

May 11 – Issue of 24 cigarettes (Hills Campaigner) & 1 oz. of Capstan per man, also 1 box matches per man. The solacing & inspiring qualities of the above all help us to win our battles, they have a species of intoxication occasioned by their fumes which seem to alleviate our discomforts. I gave my share of Capstan away but am hanging on to that valuable lot rcd. from Arthur Pashley a day or so ago. It is said the French failed in the Franco-Prussian War on a/c failure of their Commisariat Tobacco being a very big item – French had none & the Germans had a good supply. Dull day – started rain 12 o'clock. Bombardment on R flank all morning. Put in new loop-holes. One blanket per man issued tonight – Relieved at 5 p.m. – Alan Lakeman & McArthur over. Started to rain. Another blanket issued.

Wed. 12 - Raining - terrible sticky mud – Jim & I played Whist – plenty of rations to-day, Cheese biscuits & Marmalade – stew – Maconochie (1 to 2 men) Rum – Tea twice – 2 Bot. Limejuice 48 men. Great artillery rumbling on R most of day & increased from 5 p.m. to dark – Light Horse arrive & go into trenches – Turks gave us an overdose of shrapnel at 6.30 p.m. perhaps we were finding too many of their loopholes. 17th Day in Firing Line. Trench (fire) tonight.

Thurs. 13 – Shrapnel breakfast – killed a snake 3 feet long in Communication Trench – Warm bright day – Sent 2 Service P.C's one Mother one to Arthur Pashley. More mail none for me. Lieut. Thompson tells us yarns of India.

Frid. 14 – Moving to left of trenches. Changed with 4th Batt. Rotten place exposed to shrapnel & rifle fire in rear & often get enfiladed, several wounded to-day. Plenty of fatigues, trenches in rotten state at parts badly need deepening.

Sat. 15 – Put in charge of No. 7 Sect. 14th – Jack Turner – Platoon Sgt., Lieut. McIntyre in charge. Fairly quiet in daytime along our front except Shrapnel. Went into firing line 9 a.m. 24 hrs. The Navy say we are the finest fighting troops in the world – some of the Tars put Australian uniforms on. Italy declares war. Turks attack at 2 points of our line.

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