Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. II (14 January 1916 to 31 January 1917)

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'X' I discover today I am the only original member of the 1st Aust Div Staff that left Melbourne in Oct./14 Apl. 28th Selecting 2nd line Battery positions with O/C. Group - PETILLON. Lt Col Brown. fine day. Apl. 29th Inspecting Gun positions & Billets of 1st 5, 6, 4, & 102 Batteries right Group, PETILLON fine day. Rode round today mounted instead of Car. Apl. 30th 1000. look over FLEURBEAUX to be known as left Group from Bgdr Gen JOHNSTON. In afternoon arranged combined Artillery operations with LORINGS Group of Heavy Art against 4 enemy Batteries on 2 & 3rd of May. 'X' Note. I omitted to mention in this Diary that while at HARVRE I was told on good authority that we had nearly 4000 O.N.C.Os & men in the local Hospitals suffering from Syphilis - 375 were Officers from Bgdr Generals to 3 padres. The last 3 nights we have had word passed that the enemy was using Gas on our left & right, & last night that he meant to attack us. With the exception of 20 min heavy shelling on our 1st line & support trenches, night 27/28 nothing serious took place. 'X' two or three days ago I was introduced to the C. in C. [Page] 41