On the Somme, not so bad for new years day. Attached to the 49th Siege Battery. What a place I wouldn’t have told anyone about this place. I hope we are not here long.
No diary entry by Gunner Grimshaw today
Church this morning and it was alright. Bethune Lovely weather.
Eggs and chips. Bethune
Out on rest and it’s about time! 8 months and this is the first rest. Bethune is a very nice place I wish we were to stop here till the war was over. What hopes!
Excerpt from “Carmarthen in the Great War” by Steven John which describes more detail about the death of William Waters of the 216th Siege Battery
On the same page of The Carmarthen Journal, on 21 September, was a long report about the nomination of a new Portreeve for Laugharne, beneath which was the report of the death of another local man, Gunner William Waters. He was the son of John and Jane Waters of Pantyglass Farm, Broadway, Laugharne and served with 216th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. On 15 August 1917, the battle for Hill 70, near Loos, began. He was part of the crew of No. 3 gun and while the battery was involved in laying down a bombardment in support of the assaulting Canadians on 16 August, a German shell fell into his gun pit, killing three men outright and severely wounding the remainder of the crew. William was one of the dead. On 27 August, William’s parents received a letter from his officer dated 22 August 1917: France, 22nd August 1917. Dear Mrs Waters, it is my most painful duty to inform you that your son, Bombardier W. Waters, was killed in action on the afternoon of the 16th August. His gun was just ready to fire when a Hun shell fell into the gun pit causing the whole detachment to become casualties. It will be a little consolation to you to know that death was practically instantaneous and that he suffered no pain. He was buried on the following day at a British Cemetery, some distance behind the battery, being laid to rest with two others of the same detachment. The Chaplain read the burial service at the graveside and a cross has been placed on the grave. He was loved by the men of the battery for his great character, strength and industry. By the officers he was admired for his keen sense of duty. Two days before his death he was promoted to Bombardier and his future was very promising for further promotion. We feel his loss very much. Both officers and men combine in sending their deepest sympathy to you in your great bereavement. I am, Yours Sincerely, C. T. E. Murphy, Second Lieutenant.’ William was buried in Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay, and lies amongst a row of gunners from his battery.
No 1 gun team put out of action 3 killed Waters and Holt, Barker (Barber) and another wounded. Jack Hall wounded. It’s just about time this war was over.
Gunner Grimshaw was too busy to write an entry in his diary on this day a hundred years ago. I’m guessing he was still involved in the “big push” helping the Canadians taking Hill 70 near Lens. He writes again tomorrow.
Gunner Grimshaw diary entries relate to the artillery bombardment prior to the Canadian attack to gain a foothold of Hill 70 near Lens see link for more information about the battle: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/hill-70/