War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 26 May 1918
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
R.P. May 26, 1918.
It is dull and heavy here as regards the weather, but the war is more lively. We still await the Hun. I do wish he would buck up and get it over. It is like waiting in a dentist’s room to have a tooth out, only more so. We always anticipate the worst. Realisation may not be so bad. I wonder what Ludendorff will do this time. We shall see soon no doubt. I expect he will have a shock.
The Major is at present at the wagon line sick, so I am at present in command at the guns again. He always goes sick when there is any work to be done. I do not get the honour and glory, if there is any, which there never is. But I like the work with the guns much better, as it is much more exciting than at the wagon lines, where one only gets shelled and can never retaliate. Besides there is no time here to think and worry and get glum and downhearted.
Au revoir. Things will be settled soon, one way or another.
May 26 1918.
British Expeditionary Force.
The raid in London did not disturb you much, I hope. It seems to have caused a great sensation according, to the papers.
The weather is heavy and dull here, but there is plenty of excitement. We continue to fire nearly all day and night, and becomes monotonous. So far we have been lucky.
We still await the expected Boche attack. I do wish he would buck up, and get it over. It is something like waiting in the dentist’s room to have a tooth out. Such things are always worse in anticipation. It will be interesting to see what he can do this time. By the time you get this we shall probably know.
Telephone calls again, and bang goes another two hundred rounds.
At present I an in charge at the gun line. The Major is at the wagon line sick. Three subalterns are away, one sick and two on other jobs. So I am having a jolly time!
It gets light very early now. We have to “stand to” for about an hour at dawn each morning. It is often boring, but at times the sunrise is a compensation.
This is a curious existence. We have with us practically nothing except what we wear. There are no little luxuries, to which we are usually accustomed in the line. No kit, gramophone or mess furniture; there are no frills now. We may have to move at a second’s notice. We do without in case our possessions should fall into the hands of the Philistines. We wait expectantly for the attack. The uncertainty is rather trying. It is similar to the feeling before a race at Henley, but not in degree. However life is tolerable, and we are enjoying it as much as we can, especially as the spring is now here.