Monday, 16 November 2015

A Complaint by the Artillery

 A British 6 inch howitzer at IWM Duxford

Tuesday 16th November 1915: With some wry amusement, as there is often little love lost between infantry and artillery, the adjutant of the 2nd Battalion tells us that the divisional artillery has complained of their men using the la Bassée Road as far as a barricade at a certain point where there are artillery observation posts. Apparently this means the posts are liable to shell fire by the enemy, which cannot be tolerated so the infantry must go another way. Of course shell fire in their position is something the infantryman in the front line knows all about!

The adjutant of the 6th Battalion tells us that two inches of snow fell last night. In order to avoid the debilitating condition of trench foot, where men can lose toes or whole feet to gangrene, their socks are being sent out of the trenches to be dried and the men’s feet rubbed with oil. Later today the men are to go back behind the lines to bathe.

Sources: X550/3/wd; X550/7/1

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