10th and 11th November 1917 Saturday and Sunday
Cowgate Trench Bombed!
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“The Battalion relieved the 16th R.W.F. in the line on the evening of November 10th. It was a filthy night and the roads were in a ghastly mess. Next day, as usual, I made a tour of the trenches, but went up earlier in the day than usual setting out at 6.30 a.m. – safety first! I visited all the posts. The trenches were very wet and muddy, and I had great difficulty in getting to one of the posts. I got back to H.Q. about 9.30, and had breakfast. Afterwards I toured the Support Line, visiting all the Company Headquarters. The Huns sent over a lot of ‘pip-squeaks’ (small shells fired by field guns), and chased me through the ruins of the Ferme de Biez. I increased my speed to 10 m.p.h.! Whilst I was at the left company (C Company) H.Q. a big enemy aeroplane dropped six bombs in quick succession in Cowgate. He hadn’t meant to do so, but had to as our anti-aircraft shooting was too good for him!
Our trench mortars had a ‘straffe’ in the afternoon, which the Huns promptly replied to, wounding two of our men rather badly.”
The weather over the last few days was a mixture of a murky fog and heavy rain. August 1917 had seen the introduction of the Gotha GV bombers, it was probably one of these that Douglas described as a “big enemy aeroplane”.
The misspelled farm “Ferme du Siez” which was described as a ruin must have been entirely destroyed as no trace of it exists today.
Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here
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