Extract from the war diary of Lt Charles Brockbank, Machine Gun Corps
Saturday. We got the gun all ready and in position by 2.0 p.m. and then had to wait until 2.46 when the barrage started & the infantry went over. I have never seen anything like it in my life. The Gers. came over without coats on, boots unlaced, showing what a surprise it had been. The Bosch artillery woke up and buried my gun team without injuring any of them, and then a few minutes later, it buried me, it is an awful sensation. Jimmy Holmes & Chatterway are killed so is the Doc (
xxxx) and the Armourer Staff Sergt., both killed by the same shell whilst attending to wounded outside a dugout. A fairly quiet night followed, for which we were truly thankful. We had nine men in our dugout to bandage up as we had made it into a young hospital. Bowyer is dead. He was the first man into the trench & was killed straight away. Poor fellow.