Hendecourt, September 24, 1918

Tuesday          Last night the weather was much calmer and today passed warm and bright – did no work this afternoon Was up packing amm tonight made two trips, got back at midnight Fritz was over bombing Am well

Bombing raids are the downside of improved weather. Still, about two-thirds of the required quantity of ammunition has been packed to the gun positions of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. (1)

“Getting ready for some kind of a show,” says Archie Wills, who has an even harder time tonight than Percy: he will make four trips (to Percy’s two) with the pack train to the positions of his 58th Battery, covering some twenty miles (32 km) he estimates. It will be 4:30 tomorrow before he gets back to the wagon lines. And all the time, there were gas and explosive shells. “Fritz seemed to be after my Blighty Leave,” says Archie, who has just this morning got “orders to proceed on leave.” (2)

Adrian Hill’s watercolour with ink and chalk  “On the Road to Cambrai” was made some time last year, and gives some idea of the terrain over which the gunners are packing ammunition.  © Art.IWM ART 220

(1) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 20: 9. September 24, 1918. Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) Wills, Archie. Diary. Vol. 6. September 24, 1918. Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.

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