Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. III. (3 February 1917 to 9 May 1918)

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March 18th contd to make preparation for 3 Bde Sectors each with 2 Bns as Bde reserve. March 19th Dull wet morning indifferent vis. wet all day. Conference at D.H.Qs. with Div Comdr C.R.E. & O/C tunneling Coy. re. accomodation for Infantry Bns (Bde Reserves on rear slopes Messines WYSCHAETE Ridge. In Afternoon visited 14th & 8th Infy Bde H.Qs. with regard to forthcoming Raids & re distribution of Infantry Bdes. 'X' At 10/30. p.m. nearly 1200 Gas Projectors were discharged on our front & 700 on 2nd Div front on our right, the conditions being quite favorable for satisfactory results very little retaliation in the way of Art fire. 'X' The long range Gun which the Boche continues to worry us with in these back areas appears to be one of our own- Mark 19 6" brought from Russia March 20th Dull mild wet day bad vis. To 15th Infy. Bde. H.Qs to see G.O.C about proposed re distribution of Infantry Bde. & to inform him that only one place of assembly Scheme B. then with him I inspected Quarters at WOLVERGHEM of the 57 & 58th Bns afterwards went to G.O.C. 14th Infy Bde. to see about raid planned on the TWINS for to night, but on account of heavy rain yesterday decided to postpone it. In Afternoon Maj Gen McLagan comg 5th Aust Div in connection the forthcoming relief by the 4th Div. I explained present & proposed distribution of Infy. etc to him. Just recd orders that Gen Hobkirk is to leave us to command 120 Bde. L'. Col. Stewart is temp.ly. command his Bde. 'X' March 21st Fine day, indifft vis. The Boche started his great Offensive to day about 8.a.m. on that blood soddened & well known battlefield (to us) Bullecourt-Lagnicourt both these places have apparently been [Page] 171