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[Page 111]

April Monday 23 1917

More aerial combats. 'Twas Fritz's day yesterday. Ours today. We brought down 2 of his planes early. A piece of shrap. from anti-aircraft whanged on to the tent today but fortunately glanced off. Gen Birdwood expected today. All Australian troops to be relieved from this front this week, by Tommies. We expect to go today or tomorrow. Later it is. We left Bequy at 6 p.m. Just as we left. Fritz started to shell, heard subsequently that one lobbed near our tent. wounding a transport driver & horse. We arrive in Bapaume about 7 p.m. Go out immediately after finding billets in a tumbledown 2nd story building, to explore town. Not a house is left standing intact. Such destruction. Where the town Hall was is a gaping hole. 'Twas estimated 200 were buried under that debris. Visited wreckage of the once fine church. A vault under the floor caved in & exposes dozens of grinning skulls apparently buried there in years long past.
Bapaume is a very ancient city.

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