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

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Dec. 15th. Office all day - Wet day. Gen NAPIER returned about midnight Dec. 16th Wet day. Explained all that had taken place with regard to Artillery during Gen NAPIERS absence to him & handed over. Dec 17th fine day, foggy. 'X' Further interview with Gen NAPIER left HEILLY at 11/30 am for 5th Div H.Qs at BERNAFY WOODS. arrived 1 pm obtained all information I could from Gen McKAY who did not appear to have much to impart Principle point was against taking FINCH TRENCH which he said did not worry us. While we were able to inflict considerable casualties on enemy leaving & coming to it moreover if we held it we could not shell the adjoining trench. Read over defence Scheme etc. Dec. 18th fine day, foggy. Took over command 5th Aust. Div at Gen McKAY left at 9.50 am. In Afternoon went with G.S.O.1 2nd Div to visit G.O.C. 14th Infy Bde. at H.Qs 3.12 B found him Bgd Gen HOBKIRK ill in bed with bronchitis. Dec. 19th. BERNAFY WOOD. fine day. Left at 9 am to make inspection of 5th Div Sector went as far as MILLERS SON & inspected deep dug outs there. (this is within about 400 yds of front lines trenches G.S.O.1 2nd Div accompanied me & the 15th Infy. Bde. Comdr Walker about 8 miles - (Snowed in Afternoon) Dec 20th Fine, bright day. Communicated Army Corps Comdrs decision & remarks to L'. Col Lucas (who is sent back to Australia) & Maj Stokes in connection with Short Shooting by Artillery during raid on night 8/9th Dec. X Gen Birdwood & The Archbishop of Perth came to lunch with me. In afternoon I visited G.O.C. 14th Infy. Bdes. near WATERLOT FARM. Dec. 21st. - Wet day. In Office all day. very bad cold my G.S.O.1 in bed with Bronchitis G.O.C. 20th Div called on me. [Page] 96