Clayton M. Sherwood:
Diary of Foreign Service, August 1917 to February 1919


[June 1918]

June 1. [Saturday]
On sick report with grippe. Excused from work. A number of battery sick and in hospital. [It is determined much later that the men actually were suffering the after-effects of the mustard gas to which they were exposed a few days earlier; Clayton refers to this in his May 27 entry.]

June 2. Sunday
Doctor said [he] would charge [me] with [going] A.W.O.L. if didn’t stay in bed. Oscar Smith [was] in trenches and out in No-Man’s-Land today [and] got pocket book and knife of German killed there. Militia infantry holding trenches 101st or 102nd. German also had papers and picture of his sister. I came to Hosp[ital] here in P.M. at Manonville at groupe [sp?] storehouse. Company taking down guns and prepared to move in short notice, we hear. H.M.O. [heavy marching order} packed and barracks bag. German drive [is] looked for. Report [that] 10 new divisions [are] opposite us. Fever today 104.

June 3. [Monday]
Fever gone down considerable. But feeling pretty bum. Good cook here and good eats. Fine rice for breakfast. 8 of us here from L bat[tery] and a bunch in base hospital with [mustard] gas and grippe. Back in P.M. to bat[tery]. Bat[tery] tearing guns down.

June 4. [Tuesday]
Helped taking down guns. Marked “light duty.”

June 5. [Wednesday]
As yesterday. To move tonight in trucks.

June 6. [Thursday]
Got to Lucia in quarters in casements about 4 A.M. Good place up on high hill. Up at 9 [A.M.] and went to work on emplacements. Easy digging and not much. Went to town in evening.

June 6. [Thursday] [date repeated]
Worked putting guns in place. Not much digging except for base, no camouflage. Wrote home.

June 7. [Friday]
Went to Lucy and Burley with MacCarthy, found little Y.[M.C.A.] there. Not back for supper.

June 8. [Saturday]
Guns nearly in.

Sunday, June 9
Guns in. Went to Ligny where Salvation Army have tent. Got dollar changed and got candy. [News]Papers say drive stopped and Americans and Allies driving some in turn. large airplane downed 4 engines, 4 machine guns. Paid at night late after coming back from Ligny.

June 10. [Monday]
In kitchen, not hard. Mail came but [I] didn’t get any. Wrote home and to Piel and Jim [Burwell]. In Ligny and ate candy, cookies, peaches till have belly ache. No vin [wine] or beer.

June 11. [Tuesday]
On guard at night. Got [news]papers telling of German effort which availed them little. I pray God this war will soon be over and that I can be home by Christmas of this year. Are digging shelter dugouts on each side of gun.

June 12. [Wednesday]
Slept under stars last night. On till noon as co[mpany] is taking bath at place where new clothes, clean, are given by Red Cross agencys [sic]. Off at noon and went to Lagney where had feed of doughnuts and oranges at S.A. [Salvation Army] and eggs for supper. Pillard and I pitched tent at noon and will sleep out. Thomas drunk yesterday and under arrest. [Inserted at top of page:] Wrote home and finished one to Iva and Nettie.

June 13. [Thursday]
Slept out, [weather] is fine. Pie at S.A. [Salvation Army]. 4 bombs fall near.

June 14. [Friday]
Filled sandbags for around guns.

June 15. [Saturday]
Worked on [No.] 1 gun, putting up bags. Two letters from home dated May 14 and 15. Aunty and John [are] with folks. Wish [I] could be too.

June 16. Sunday
Off today. Wrote home. Went for walk with Peatfield to Boucq. Town shelled while [we] were there. People and soldiers running for dugout. Went up in town, talked to some of 101st Eng[ineers]. Saw pies untended, and wished [I] could get ’em.

June 17. [Monday]
Rainy. Tent holds pretty good. Inspection in P.M. but near asleep in tent and didn’t get to stand formation. Bed early. Pay tomorrow, bunkie says from h’dqs [headquarters].

June 18. [Tuesday]
No pay here. 328 M.G. [machine guns] here at Lucey. 82 Division N.A. [Naval Artillery} near.

June 19. [Wednesday]
Paid in P.M. Kept fires in casemates [casements] all day. Letter from Jim [Burwell], who was gassed the 9 of June. [Inserted between lines:] Town with Sprouse, White and Tommy.

June 20. [Thursday]
Down town to S.A. [Salvation Army] and got friedcakes.

June 21. [Friday]
Wrote home. Rained most of last night.

June 22. [Saturday]
Lot of Cherries in evening, ripen here earlier than at home. 82 division [is] here to relieve 26 or Y.D. division. Don’t know if we’ll remain or go with 26th. Beaver, listening to trivial talk in gun pit, says, “I don’t see why they talk like that, they never talk of beer or something like that.”

June 23. Sunday
Cool and windy but nice morning. Valley below looks pretty. Green and plowed spots mixed to look like huge checkerboard. Several little towns in sight between us and other range of hills, some 10 kilometers from here. Italians [are] reported to have repulsed attack on Piave and taken 13,000 prisoners in all. German attack on Western fron[t] seems to be broken and [Germans] are probably organizing for another drive as they must attempt a victory this year or have no hope of one after. Gas and artillery action [has occurred] here on this front in last few days, gas launched by Americans. Big gas attack credited to Canadians early in spring was launched by Americans working with them, 30th Engineer[s,] as one of them told me. Biggest of war.

June 24. [Monday]
Took bath in morning and had cherries at night. [Inserted later:] Gave Anelski $1 for fixing shoes. Dream’t [dreamed] saw Jim who has been gased [sic].

June 25. [Tuesday]
In no. 1 gun dugouts.

June 26. [Wednesday]
One dugout done with digging except steps. Oranges and choco[late] late at S.A. [Salvation Army} and hunted all over for cherrie[s] but could find none. Had all been pickd. Johnston under arrest for being absent. Several others absent. [They] Queered [falsified] passes without permission. Have to give name and be inspected now by charge of quarters. Boland paid 17 francs for shave in Toul Sunday.

June 27. [Thursday]
Have to move guns again further down the hill. [We] Are all tired of moving them, even officers who once drove work are letting up. Expect to get railroad guns soon anyway, eight inch armored mounts. Will use old French dugouts in new positions.

June 28. [Friday]
Digging in new dugout. Taking out loose dirt. Over a mile to gun positions from here.

June 29. [Saturday]
Getting no. 1 gun ready for moving. Clearing dirt from pit. Got mail from home and Iva. About commencement time so were busy on school play and farm work too. Elmer and Edna in play.

June 30. [Sunday]
Muster this A.M. 9:00. Got hair cut at French barber on hill, 50 ctms [centimes]. Also will be foot inspection as new foot disease is among soldiers. Went to Pagny, through Trondes and Pagny Station back by way of Lagney where met “Bishop” Daymon and had raisons [sic], cheese and beer.

At right: Somewhere in France, a team of 25 helmeted soldiers moves an artillery piece mounted on rails to its new position.

Original text © 2002-2003 by, Willowshade, West Grove, PA


Foreword and Summary

August 1917 | September 1917 | October 1917
November 1917 | December 1917

January 1918 | February 1918 | March 1918 | April 1918
May 1918 | THIS PAGE: JUNE 1918 | July 1918 | August 1918
September 1918 | October 1918 | November 1918 | December 1918

January 1919 | February 1919

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