Ward diary, 30 October 1917-16 January 1918 / Ernest Henry Ward - Page 10

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[Page 10]

got the 'wind up', even traffic police must carry rifles & ammunition. Up the line at Passchendaele I was on a wiring party in No Man's Land & the only protection we had was one pair of wire cutters between 20 men! Now we fall in with rifle & bayonet, 120 rounds, a tin of bully & two biscuits. We then move to a dump for picks & shovels, thence to the allotted task. If digging a trench you will inevitably be up to your knees in water before you are deep enough. The ground is frozen hard for 8 or 9 inches, & of course shell holes several feet deep are full of water & drain into the trenches. One wonders how so few go down with pneumonia etc. We have to work from 1600 to 2200 so that Fritz cannot observe our movements & when we finish for the night we throw snow over the freshly turned earth.

Dec. 23
Idem ejusdem. [The same thing.]
Dec. 24
Today it thawed & 'on fatigue' was hellish.

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