Portrait of Leo Terrell. Image courtesy National Archives
Terrell, Frederick Leopold – June 1917
Had rough day today. thought every minute we were going up, caught fire next to us and one of our batteries suffered severely having 11 casualties including their major. War is becoming a hotter passtime every day and one shakes hands with himself many times in a week.
Left Aus. 2 years ago today …During the night had a very rough time for we were pelted with gas shells from about 10 P.M until 4 A.M. and can assure you things were very uncomfortable. Battery had 20 men suffering the effects.
Got up this morning at 10.30 A.M. feeling rotten. After dinner Fritz straft us all over again. The 47TH had 3 sgts wounded, one died of his wounds. Had a little more gas last night, there being a breeze it soon lifted and we were left almost unmolested but for a few shells which came uncomfortably close at times
A very warm day. Went to O.P. and watched a raid just below Messines. The barage was a marvellous upheaval of dirt and rubbish and a curtain of hell only it cannot be discribed as anything else.
Operations started at 3am this morning and when the time for the starting arrived 2 big mines went up as the signal at Ypres, and everything trembled with the shock. Then every gun peeled forth and it was like hell let loose.
…old Fritz opened up with a barage of 5.9 shells all along the front and kept it up all day making the position very hot, many men were wounded as a result left line in midst of heavy barage at 5.15 P.M. and had an exciting move for Battery position where we arrived unhurt but tired at 7.30 PM.
Friday night I had first nights sleep since the stunt started. being 3 days and 2 nights without sleep. Saturday morning I turned out at 9 A.M. and felt much better for the rest. Had Harry Ladd wounded on Thursday night and also E. Young got shell shock and the miracle remains how the whole six were not killed & also the major.…Went to pictures at 5.30 P.M
Last night a counter attack took place, but the boys resisted his force. All day off and on Pont de Neippe [Pont de Nieppe] has been getting shelled.
…Pont de Neippe was shelled very severely today and as a result many children & women were wounded with flying fragments of course they are to blame to a certain extent for they have been warned before But its awful to see.
…Went for a bath this morning and it was splendid.
…plenty of aireal activity as the Bosch planes have been paying a few visits behind screen of clouds, and were dispersed on every occasion by our Bull Dog planes and Archies.
A fine day, rather warm, wrote a letter to Clara and whilst writing was disturbed by a big shell which burst overhead, and find my nerves are not near as good as they used to be its either I am loosing confidence, or it’s the strain is becoming too much.
This morning at 4.30 we were roughly awakened by a terrible lot of gun fire which was the outcome of seven Hun planes hovering over our waggon lines. They were eventually driven off.
Was innoculated again today and can tell you it’s a thing the troops do not relish for one feels unwell for at least 24 hours
Last night had a terrible lot of Bombs dropped between Neuve Eglise & Bailleul. The reports from explosions were very severe. Today a very cloudy day, during night had a great deal of rain and lasted well on through the night Wrote home to Mother and Caleb.
On Stable orderly all day yesterday we had preliminaries of events for sports tomorrow, jumping, running, Boxing, tug of War, rescue race Today a driver who was jumping, jumped bit awkward and ended up by breaking horses neck and hurting himself, he was taken away on stretcher.
Today we had a great day, We held Brigade sports, and 45TH Battery carried off most of the honors, winning Flag race, Restling on Horseback. 200 yds, second in tug of War Had 40TH Battalions Brass Band to play music which added to the events of the day. A Freak happened the lightning struck one of our balloons, and it went up in smoke
The weather exceptionally good, have had many bomb raids from Fritz of late and the town of Bailleul has suffered considerably