Portrait of Leo Terrell. Image courtesy National Archives
Terrell, Frederick Leopold – April 1917
A very heavy barage was put up on Noreuil at 4 a m this morning. And our infantry took it during the day. The 50TH Batt Aus Infantry suffered heavily…
Are expecting any moment now to move, In new position which has been selected for us, we had a party working. and before the day was out had one man killed and one wounded. These were both 3rd Division chaps who have just joined us up lately
Am expecting to move in the morning. …
Turned out at 6 a m and left for new position arrived there at 6.45 a m and stood by awaiting orders whilst waiting Fritz opened out on us and blew one of our ammunition dumps, resulting in us having 3 wounded, and were lucky to get off so light…
Had more excitement last night being shelled off and on all the time. … Layed line up ahead of Noreuil and on our way back at 8 P.M we had a warm time being right in a barage
All night long we were shelled and some were very close. There were gas shells, High explosive, and shrapnel, and last nights barage put a lot of the 14TH Batt to Hospital…Put in most of to-day digging a dugout for myself…
At about 1.30 a.m this morning whilst tracing line back I was hit by a piece of shell in the hip badly bruising it and cutting right through my sleeve, my overcoat and through leather jacket. I arrived back at battery with a deal of assistance from Christian at 3.30 am rested all day as I could barely walk.
The Infantry made an attack this morning assisted by 11 tanks and gain their objective but could not hold it. the Germans counter attacked inflicting great loss on our side the result of the whole operation is not yet known. I was sent waggon Lines at 11.30 a.m. to rest for a few days.
Nothing definite yet as to how the boys got on in the Builincourt [Bullecourt?] operation, But news to hand regarding Arras front has proved successful total prisoners to date 15000 and guns 100…
… still off duty, my side is improving a bit… Received letters from Eric, 2 from Clara & 1 from Mother.
A fine day it is a pleasure to get a nice day once now and again. Wrote Letter to Clara, Eric & Mother. The German’s big Gun which we call lazy Joe, caught one of our Locomitives in Bapuame and burst the boiler of another … making all supplies late for the day…
A very uncertain morning. for the Germans made a heavy attack on Noreuil, and had orders to take it at all costs …
Yesterday we took 1100 walking prisoners, and many more wounded. our boys who were wounded and were left as he came on in mass formation were stabbed and butchered by the advancing Hun, who would take no prisoners. A very dark day for Australia though they had a victory in the end. Went on sick parade this morning & am off duty again.
Had some very sad news imparted to me today. My best pal Sgt Ladd, died at Reoun [Rouen?] Hospital as result of his wounds, and he has the respect of the whole Battery. I have never seen a Sgt so well like before in my military service…
… We are expecting to have a stunt in the course of next few days…
… We are having some rough experiences here, and our position in suicide Gulley is the hottest I have known, for one gets pelted with every kind of infernal shell there is, gas shells 5.9s, 4.2s, Whiz Bangs and shrapnel, and it is like hell let loose when it starts …
A very sad thing happened to one of the heavy 9.2 howitzers they had a premature in the bore, and resulted in blowing the gun to pieces, killing 4 of detachment and wounding two, was an awful mess, am still off duty at Waggon Lines and may be so for a fortnight yet.
… Turned in at 10.20 P M feeling very weary and tired not only in body but in soul for the war is beginning to weary me.
The eve of Anzac day. and a beautiful day too. Last Anzac Day was spent on the Suez Canal and today is just such another day in quite a different part of the world, … 692 days from Australia…
The Germans have replaced 2 big guns which we blew up, and they are making themselves very annoying, by trying to blow up our ammunition dump.
Battery was releived today …
A lovely day, but as usual had the old rest routine, parades and polished boots, it is sickening to had to put up with so much, one does not feel the benefit of being out of action…