Duty 0600 to 1800.
During past week, the smell of the dead was awful but tonight it is worse. Had to wear our respirators to keep it out. It is awful and nothing can clear the stench.
Later - Trench warfare is the most monotonous game imaginable. The same old thing day after day. All we hope for is for a Turk to show himself and a desire to kill. It gives one great pleasure indeed to see one of the enemy fall to your rifle. It’s just the same as shooting wallabies.
At night-time things get livelier and it is fine to watch the star shells and shrapnel bursting and the searchlights playing. Looking out to sea, one can see the dark hulls of the warships creeping along and closer in are the destroyers waiting an opportunity. All at once a searchlight will flash out from one of the boats, search the enemy’s trenches until they find a target and then the guns start. The guns smash in the trenches and all the work of the enemy sappers put in at repairing goes for nothing.
It is heartbreaking at times when such things as that happen to us. (5 April 1916)
J. A. Graham
Jack Graham, ANZAC soldier, kept a diary from 1914-1918. Here it is, blogged 100 years later to the day....