Status: Indexed

War Diary - April

Battle Reports sent in Appendix
Capt. T.W. MacDowell DSC 2.45 p.m.
April 9th, 1917
TO O.C. 38th Battalion

While exploring this dug out Kelty and I discovered a
large store of what we believe to be explosives in a room. There
is also an old sap leading away down underground in the direction
of No. 7 Crater. This was explored down to a car but no further
as it may be wired. Would you get in touch with Brigade as quickly
as possible and ask that a party of either 176th or 182nd Tunnelling
Company come up and explore these. We have cut all wires for
fear of possible destructive posts. The dug out has three entries
and will accommodate easily 250 or 300 men with the sap to spare.
It is 75 feet underground and very comfortable. The cigars are very
choice and my supply of perrier water is very large.

If I might I would suggest that you take it up with the
Brigade that this place be occupied in strength as there is a great
field of fire to the north and west as well as to the east. This
you see makes it a very strong supporting post to our left flank and I
would strongly recommend that it be occupied by Brigade Machine
Guns. I cannot locate them. I have no N C O's to leave in
charge here to go look for them myself.

It is quite alright for any one to come up here. They
are firing at us all the time with their heavy guns from the
south east but I have no casualties to report since coming in here ex-
except being half scared to death myself by a "big brute".

I cannot impress this upon you too much the strength of thi
position and the value of it as a strong supporting point to the left
flank by which they will undoubtedly make their counter attack.
Observation is good here on the whole for side of Lens and other
villages and battery positions can be seen. We have taken two
machine guns that I know of and a third and possible a fourth will
be taken to-night. This post was a machine gun post and held by a
Machine Gun Coy. I believe they are Prussian Guards. All big
strong men who came in last night. They had plenty of rations but w
we had a great time taking them prisoners.

It is a great story. My two runners Kobus and Hay did in-
valuable work in getting men out of the dug out as we had to conceal
the fact we were only three in number. I dont think that all got
back though.

Please have these Engineers sent up at once to examine wire
further as this is a great dug out and should not be destroyed.
I believe the sap runs into No. 7 Crater and might help in
being an underground C. T.

There are a large number of wounded in front of here as
I can see by the rifles stuck in the ground. We are using
German rifles as ours are out of business. I now have three
Lewis guns but only about 15 pans of ammunition. Kelty is
here with me. I have no N. C. O's. Please point out the value of
this as a supporting point on our left flank.

I cannot think of anything further. Tell Ken to come
up for tea to-morrow if it is quiet. Sorry to hear of the
C. O. and Hill and the others.

(Signed) T. W. MacDowell, Captain.
38th Battalion.

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Do you have a keyboard with square brackets? Maybe I can get one at work. But how do you know which words to choose? Katie warlund@hotmail.ca