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[Page 83]

clearly showed the terrible devastation of the ground and surrounding country. About 9 am it commenced to rain. That made matters decidedly worse, for it was so cold that it was almost impossible to catch hold of any steel or anything wet. This is the worst day I have yet experienced.
19th Still raining! The ground which has been frozen hard for a few days is now soft and mucky. Wagons & horses are being bogged & it is impossible for one to walk without sinking to his knees in mud. We must keep moving to keep alive.
20th Rain has cleared off and left behind it mud & slush nearly three feet deep. Very few chaps have dry feet to do so one would have to change boots & socks about every half an hour – Several animals wounded & 2 killed.
21st Another cold tho' fine day. The mud is gradually becoming harder, though it will take some time unless it snows. Railway accident. Supply train derailed at Becordel thus delaying the issue of rations. Everything is being done to overcome the difficulty. Short & sharp bombardment towards Thiepval (our left)

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