Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. III. (3 February 1917 to 9 May 1918)
not well sited others require fire stepping on parapets towering they are not capable of all round defence & flanks should be refused. they are not all mutually supporting. The M.G. positions are in many cases badly sited, do not fullfil the essential requirements & are generally perfect cock shys. March. 7th Beautiful spring day. indiff. vis. To 15th Infy Bde H.Qs at NORTH MIDLAND to a conference of Infantry Bgdrs C.R.A. & G.S.O.1 with regard to proposed Raids during next ten days. also Chinese attack at once & for Gas projections bombardment. C/O. R.E. Coy. in charge of this work attended conference. 'X' Gas alarm about 6. p.m. caused so it was stated by 4th Div Art. covering right front of 1st Div (on our left, using gas shell on a position where the wind would blow it diagonally across our front. March 8th Beautiful spring day, fair vis. 'X' To inspect S.Ps 2nd zone Corps system (from WYSCHAETE to MESSINES - G.O.C. 8th Bde with me. Works badly designed in many respects too obtrusive no berm, needless parapets little or no fire stepping. in fact whoever is responsible dosent know his job or has neglected it - a great deal of work must be done before they can be used - in many cases wire is too close to them & the could easily be bombed from favorable ground or points near them. Visited Bn H.Qs 59th & 60th Bns & saw O/C 58th Bn near Messines. all well. March 9th Beautiful day, fair vis. To 15th Bde H.Qs at N. MIDLAND Fm then forward to the support line with G.O.C & O/C 60th Bn (at whose Bn H.Qs I called to inspect the forward area pointed out to Gen Elliott & afterwards to C.R.E. at evening conference. the necessity of alteration & improvement in the construction of our S. points. [Page] 167.