Extract from the diary of Lt B H Gregg, 5th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment
[Lt Gregg joined up in August 1914 in Chester. He survived the war and died aged 102 in Canada.]
Easter Sunday. Holy Communion by the chaplain held in the chapel of a convent. During the day my billet is changed and things are much better. It is now in a convent. The nuns are still in residence and help to make people comfortable.
The three of us asked to go out with a working party to see what the trenches are like. HEALD is in charge. Darkness all the way. A mysterious farm evidently Brigade Headquarters. We proceed vaguely towards the line hearing continual desultory rifle fire, eventually have first experience of being among bullets. A strange situation in the darkness, illuminated by the moving VERY lights. We are somewhere in the frontline, among a rattle of musketry and a vague sense of unreality as in the middle of a nightmare forest. Certainly we are in a new world. We know nothing & can see little. Our leader has obviously failed to find his destination for we return without any work being done. (It appears that we went along the LOCRE-KEMMEL road & beyond the hill & village to the front line trenches opposite WYTSCHAETE. The evening was all very mysterious but I came back feeling considerably more experienced). Morgan keeps his two automatic pistols (they say the Germans shoot you on sight if you have one when captured) in a sock. As every civilian is a “spy” suspects a mild alarm is caused when he accidently sets off a shot in billets.