Frank Swannell Diaries: Part I
Diaries of Frank Cyril Swannell Learn more.
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BC Archives MS-0392 - Box 1, Volume 4-5
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Survey Trenches 128-134 - Facing Messines Page 77 Day 12h. 57m. long ] SEPTEMBER, 1915. [10th, Sun rises 5h. 28m SUNDAY 5 [248-117] 14th after Trinity "On Top" survey of Fort Eberle.
MONDAY 6 [249-116] Survey around Fort Eberle & Higginson Ave - Walk around in plain view of 4 German Trenches on Messines slope - too far for sniping and evidently not reckoned worth wasting a shell on. Make plan in evening for the general & finish list of supplies. Sgt. Murrough 'recuperating' Very little shelling today, but heavy bombardment starts at 9 p.m. on our right.
Fort Eberle heavily held by belts of barb wire. Gen. Leckie did not approve of our running our lines on Top of the trenches "The Germans might shell you and register on our Trench" - He didn't seem to worry about our fate different to Turner. Allan Liner "Hesperian Torpedoed sinks while being towed into Queenston Harbour
TUESDAY 7 [250-115] Survey Front Line Trenches 136-137- 4 'whizz-bango' explode in front of parapet near us. Baxter gets struck with flying chunk of clay. 'Doc' Sutherland wounded - 6" shell ricochets in front of parapet, bounds from top, crashes through roof of Docs Dugout, finally burying without exploding - 'Doc' struck on head by roofing timber - Currently reported that the shell ricochetted off his cranium. 128-134 - Trench 131 heavily bombarded with whizz-bangs. 11 10am. Shrapnel fired at 136 11 15am Large working party heard to left of La Petite Douve unloading steel-beams, driving stakes & dumping rubbish
WEDNESDAY 8 [251-114] Spend whole day in Front Line Trenches - Meet Howard Grestock in angle of Currie Ave. Last saw him on Ry.Explor. Survey, 1901 - Since been in Yukon - now Cpt. Strathcona's. In Trench 135 ran into Jas Landsborough from Pemberton - Now 7th Bn - just over German Trenches by La Petite Douve Fme 150 yds away - Risky work running survey back of Trench While chatting with Landsborough three whizz-bangs knock down parapet 60 yds to our right. - Throw sandbags in all directions - Same time 5 men caught by shrapnel in Currie Ave CT. - leave long trail of blood along the clay walls 4 pm. Boches at La Petite Douve float over a red balloon about 4 foot diam. - we fire & bring it down inside our lines - red oiled paper - to test wind for gas?
Landsborough later wounded - 6 mos hospital - Returned to Walter Landsborough Killed on the Somme Front
BC Archives, MS-0392, Box 1, Volume 4, FRANK SWANNELL PAPERS, Diary and enclosures, 1915.