9th January 1916 Sunday

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Douglas continued,

“Shortly after midnight a message came through that the Huns were going to attack on our right at 2am Sunday (again) 9th January. We were all told to ‘stand to’ with gas helmets at the alert. Wind up completely! Promptly at 2 o’clock the bombardment began. Our guns replied strongly. Rifle and machinegun fire started also and the noise was terrific. I sat in my aid-post with my orderlies waiting for the worst to happen. Shells were exploding all around making holes in the old house. Bullets were pinging up against the walls behind me. This went on for a solid hour. Strange to say no one was wounded and I got some sleep when all was quiet again. It all started on again at 3 in the afternoon, but this time I had work to do, which kept my mind off the noise outside. One poor man had a piece of shrapnel through the roof of his mouth and into the brain. He didn’t live long. Another man had both his legs smashed to pulp. I had to chloroform him to dress his wounds and control the bleeding. I sent all the wounded off on trolleys to the dressing station at Green Barn where Capt. Ffoulkes was in charge.

All our casualties came from C company on the extreme right, where the Huns were shelling and trench mortaring the ‘Ducks Bill’ (part of our trenches that jutted out into ‘No man’s land’.)

Whilst I was busy attending to my wounded, the A.D.M.S. appeared on the scene and wanted to know why I wasn’t wearing a white surgical gown! Just fancy a surgeon’s gown in a shell-stricken dugout. I felt like hitting him!”

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