With the observers worked the snipers. After nearly two years, telescopic sights at last appeared, and we tried to train the once despised “Bisley shot.” They were very keen, and had much success, of which they were duly proud, as their individual reports showed. “We watched for 3/4 of an hour until our viggillance was rewarded by seeing a Boche; he exposed half of himself above the parapet, I, Pte. ——, shot him,” so said one report, the name has unfortunately been lost. Some snipers even kept a book of their “kills,” with entries such as “June 1st, 9-30 a.m. Boche sentry looking over, shot in shoulder, had grey hair almost bald very red face and no hat.” It was just the right spirit, and it had its results. Autumn, 1915, saw us hardly daring to look over the top for fear of being sniped; Autumn, 1916, saw us masters, doing just what we pleased, when we pleased.
29th Oct., 1916. 15th April, 1917.
Many Divisions were now taking part in the Somme battle for the second time, and as we suddenly left Pommier on the 29th October—our final destination unknown—we naturally thought it probable that we, too, should soon be once more in the thick of the fighting. However, our fears were groundless, and we moved due West, not South. Our first night we spent in Mondicourt, and then moved the next day in pouring rain to Halloy, where we stayed two days. On the 1st November we marched 14 miles through Doullens to Villers L’Hopital, on the Auxi le Chateau road, where we found our new Padre waiting for us,