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

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F.M. Sir Douglas Haig, a very nice man quiet & unassuming, at Div H.Qs. He complimented us on the excellent behavior of the 1st Div which he said at been equal to that of any Troops (British) in France, & especially mentioned the Artillery at Harvre. May 1st Enemy Started Shelling with 5.9 the railway yard (where our supplies are delivered at BAC.SU.MAOR.about 7.30 a.m. just as I was shaving I heard the first Shell come screaming over & thought it was going to burst near my billet. The Railway Station is some distance away but the Shells bursting Seemed quite close, the enemy fired about 60, but did not do much damage to material & only took off one mans foot (who was sheltering in a Railway truck (so far as I can learn) I went out in Car best part of the day, with Col. Anderson to select 3rd line defence positions it was a glorious May day, the Fields with luxuriant green grass, Buttercups & Daisies, the first I have plucked for 30 years. it seems there in the fields also peaceful & calm, & yet the firing line was within 5 miles. At night went to a place near BERTHEN to see an alarm Rocket display. Col Bridges went with me. Didn't profit much by the display but the motor ride about 16 or 17 miles was enjoyable - it was a lovely night & moon waned passing [Page] 42