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

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Dec 4th To H.Qs H.A. VIVIER MILL then to Right Sect H.Qs at BERNAFY WOODS. Saw G.O.C. 5th Aust. Div. discussed Artily with him & also alleged Short Shooting, he expressed his satisfaction with Art - & denied Short Shooting which he said was not our own but from Eny Batts at LE TRANSLOY. Afterwards with Art Group Comd. I inspected some Batts & 2 Bde H.Qs of Art. in this Sector. I emphasised on all the necessity for proper observation & registration. From Bde op at½.7½ I got a fine view of general situation seeing FLERS- GEUDECOORT- BEAULENCOURT- LE TRANSLOY & 'X' LES BEOUF. It was a very interesting bright & Sunny day. but walking over the shell torn ground full of craters & of the nature of pudding. the ground being in a state of thaw. all over the ground east of FLERS & in the northern part & N of DELVILLE WOOD was all the waste of war equipment. Rifles amm both ours & German while numerous bodies nearly all German lay in mummified condition all over the ground & even where buried were often resurrected by Bosch Shell. While I was there as during my visit to the left Sector the Bosch Shell from 8" downwards were falling all along the ridge & among our Batteries & dug outs. it is marvellous how we seem to escape so lightly. I walked about 7 miles ret'd with Gen Johnson & had some lunch at his H.Qs about 3.30 pm Dec. 5th Engaged in Office all day. some rain Dec. 6th Visited D.A Schools & Bdes in training 2nd & 4th D.A at NAOURS. 5th D.A at WARGNES. 1st at HAVERNAS. T.M. School at FREMONT - 1st D.A had made a satisfactory start also the T.M. School others had not. came back through [Page] 94