September 1st

Yesterday afternoon I sent my men out to lie in ambush in the woods. I went myself to join them about an hour later but could not find them in the place where I had told them to go. I was rather cross and not a little anxious, there were only five of them out and they might easily have been surprised by a larger party.

I wandered back and at last found one who had come to look for reinforcements. Six Germans, one of them in Khaki, had passed some distance off their ambush going towards the marsh. My men followed them on a parallel route and were by now hidden in thick alder bushes standing in water.

I sent for some of the Cheshire scouts to be ready at hand to reinforce if necessary and myself crept to where my men were. My coming seemed to have puzzled the Germans because they had been moving up till them, but now nothing was to be heard. After a quarter of an hour’s waiting I heard them move –clop-clop-clop

In the marsh. The excitement was intense. I saw the men’s eyes open wider and wider clop-clop – they came nearer and one man moved his rifle to take aim; then I heard a noise like a herd of buffalos behind me. It was the Cheshire scouts coming up and making a hideous noise, they had misunderstood my orders and instead of waiting behind till they heard shots, had come up to me – how I swore!

Marsh land

This effectively put the Bosche off. I sent the Cheshires away but after a pause of twenty minutes I heard the clop-clop-of the Germans retiring – another chance gone. They did not even visit our causeway after dark.

This morning I brought up a telephone wire which has been given to me, and laid a connection out to where my ambush is. I lay out there from 11am till 3.30pm but no German came. I was relieved later by Bishop. He has just come back saying there is nothing to be seen.