WAR DIARY of AA Laporte Payne 1 June 1917
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
JUNE THE FIRST 1917.
I am sitting in the map room, a broken room in a much shelled farmhouse. The wall paper is made of innumerable and varied maps, aeroplane and other photographs of the immediate front. The windows are of tracing paper. My seat is an ammunition box, and the table a looted one. We are at it night and day now. The Boche is in a thoroughly bad temper.
We have had lovely weather, but I am afraid it is about to change. It will interfere with the good work.
We are still laying lines, digging dug-outs, issuing orders and instructions. I have got into such a muddled condition that I have just tried to light my pen in the candle and write with my cigarette.
I have not seen my mare for days, but I hope she is alright. She hates the noise of gun-fire. Besides it is not safe for her up here, we are too close.
We ran in two civilians as spies here today, the only civilians I have seen for days. I don’t know what they were doing up here, but I do not think they were spies, although they are natives of this part of Belgium.
I have not worn a coat for a long while. My get-up is a shirt, breeches and an old pair of boots and leggings, also battle bowler, tin, respirator, box, stick, wire-cutters, and at times water-bottle and revolver, the latter quite useless.
I have been wounded. I cut my finger with the wire-cutter. We try to keep the Colonel in a good temper; but he breaks away at times. The Brigade owes us a great debt of gratitude. Sensible people, without livers simply sat “C’est la guerre”, and let it go at that, the others get angry and hot to no purpose.
Have you guessed where we are?