GWL 8th April 1917

Our mails have really gone to pot.  It seems months since anything came.  We had a good big thunderstorm this morning about 1AM.  Very heavy rain & wind.  The usual routine — one mad rush round your tent to loosen the ropes & then hold tight.  Yesterday I caught a very small young donkey, made a loose box for the little beast & partly clipped it.  We got on very well indeed and it was duly christened “Clarice”.  In the morning along comes the owner & carts it away.  And the distressing part about it all is that the small ass was extraordinarily glad to depart with the bally dago.  So now ‘Clarice’, like many other things, is but a pleasant memory.  The hounds grow apace.  Last night the pair of them sat outside the store tent and bayed at the moon.  I am afraid my christening left a good deal to be desired.  9 O’clock in the morning and my god-mother attired in evening dress and an ulster.”

With the United States having declared war on Germany on April 6th, Austria-Hungary severs diplomatic relations with the US. On the 9th the Battle of Arras (1917) began with the assault on the heavily fortified Vimy Ridge.  In one of the most successful Allied offensives to date the Canadian Corps under the command of General Byng took the Ridge by a combination of careful pre-planning using underground tunnels to advance as far as possible then the use of a carefully timed “creeping” artillery barrage.  Vimy Ridge remained in Allied hands for the remainder of the War.

{next post 10th April}

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