12th March 1918 Tuesday

The Constant Shelling is Beginning to Play on The Nerves

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“Next day (12th March) was another day of continuous shelling, which began to tell on one’s nerves. One of the officers, and a man from ‘D’ Battery, I had to evacuate suffering from shell-shock. They were very bad, and I felt very sorry for them. The Huns shelled Erquingham in the afternoon much to the consternation of the civilians. He also shelled Estaires and Bac-St  Maur with high velocity shells. The 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers made a small raid, and captured one miserable Hun, who said that the battalion of German ‘Sturmtruppers’ who attacked us on the 10th March had been absolutely wiped out by our excellent gun fire. There were only twelve survivors, and he was one of them!”

The build-up of German offences was beginning to increase pressure on this part of the Western Front. Gradual withdrawal of German divisions from the Eastern Front, following Russia’s withdrawal meant reinforcements being drafted into the Western Front. The news that accurate British Artillery fire was taking effect buoyed moral.

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