Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. I (25 April 1915 to 14 January 1916)

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This transcription is complete

doubt if we could have taken it. many of the trenches were built with strong overhead cover. The place is still full of corpses of frightfully mutilated bodies of our own men & the Enemy. Some of the bodies lie in the most horrible grotesque attitudes, the stench & flies are abominable, & how our men can fight eat & sleep among their awful surroundings I do not know. I could not but dwell on the irony of it all - our magnificent men lying there most appalling & disgusting remnants of humanity - men I had seen two days before so full of vigour & manly strength - men I had seen striving in sweat dust flies & heat in Egypt to make themselves efficient soldiers - then the strain & horror of the landing nearly 4 mos continual trench work here with shelling & other hardships & this -- the end. Oh, the Story of War. We are working hard making good our hold on the LONE[ ] PINE & we shall now want a lot of (?) out but the enemy is continually bombing & shelling us. August 12th. Had a quiet & uneventful night & the enemy now 7.30 a.m. is wasting his energy & ammunition trying to bring down the Naval Baloon. There was a good deal of musketry on the left, & above me that disturbed my rest towards morning. August 14th. We do not seem to have made much further progress in the Battle & from what I can glean we have suffered very heavy losses on our left that is with the 9th Army Corps & the [ ] [ ] 13th Div. 88