War Diary of AA Laporte Payne
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
4th August 1917
R.P. August 4, 1917.
The weather is truly fearful. We are swamped out. We know that the floods are subsiding when we can see the tips of the horses’ ears sticking above the water. We have no need of a dove. Our bridge over the dyke, by which we enter the field where we live, floated away yesterday, and we had great but wet fun rescuing it. One of the ammunition wagons completely disappeared in a bog. I do not think I have ever experienced such a lengthy period of steady rain, certainly not in August. Thank Jupiter it is clearing up now, so we are alright except for the MUD.
However the flood gave us a certain amount of amusement, but we could well do without it.
The new officers to replace casualties seem to be no earthly use. I do believe they do not know which end of the gun shoots out of. I should have thought that at this stage of the war men better trained could have been sent out. It makes it very hard for the old stagers who have to spoon feed them without being relieved of any of their duties.
The Boche infantry is nothing like what they used to be. The enemy seem to rely on their 5.9, in. gun and machine guns manned to the latter by picked men in strong posts. Tanks should be our answer to the latter, and good counter-battery work to the former. These difficulties have got to be surmounted somehow.
At last we are obtaining a fair allotment of leave for the men, I am glad to say. The majority of them have had no leave since they have been in France.