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Saturday, 4 June 2011

War Diary Entry: 4th June 1916

I believe every division on the British front made a raid last night starting at midnight. In this divn 86th Brigade carried it out in the other sector. They only had 2 days notice to get ready for it. There was a new departure in the scheme, after half an hour's bombardment the barrage lifted off the frontline for ten minutes and then came back for 10 minutes before finally lifting to allow the men into their trenches. This was to allow the wire to be cut by torpedoes and by hand. The wire was too thick to be cut in this time , so the 15 minutes allowed for the men in the trenches had to be partly spent in cutting the wire. When they got in they found the trenches deserted, and so came away with a few papers and one casualty. Kelly (now commanding the Essex, 88th Brigade) was wounded by a shrapnel bullet in the shoulder which went down to his lung; he had no business to be about at all, but could not resist it and was standing on the parapet helping the raiding party back into our trenches. One unlucky shell pitched in a corrugated iron hut behind the Tendelon, and killed 11 and wounded about 22, all Worcesters, they should have been packed away in deep dugouts beforehand.. No casualties in this brigade. The 31st Divn got into the Bosche trenches on our left and I believe only found a couple of Germans, whom they killed, & came away with about 9 casualties. I went round the whole of our frontline at 5.30am and only found the trench slightly damaged in one place.
Pierce came in to lunch & Welch afterwards to discuss operations. The KOSBs came out of isolation today, and this afternoon moved out of Mailly Wood into this village (Englebelmer)

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