|our artillery put it out of mess with three fine shots; but it was a very hot experience while it lasted. At night we had just managed to have some tea when the enemy started firing like fury. I think they were expecting us to attack. We returned the fire, and it was kept up for an hour or two. Nothing happened for one or two days after this. The trenches captured were converted to our own use, and other trenches were made behind the brewery, along the river bank, and in front of the factory. They threw some "Jack Johnsons'' at us for a couple of days; some came over the brewery and burst within a few yards of either side of the trench we were busy digging, and they gave us a good shake up. As this did not shift us, the Germans — who must have been angry at losing their free beer — then fetched up some of their huge mortars. It was six days after we had taken the position (on 26th October, I think) that a big black object was seen ascending in the air until it came over the brewery. It then fell rather slowly, tumbling over and over until it landed inside the yard of the brewery. There it burst with a terrible crash, sending debris high into the air, and also giving off a dense cloud of black smoke, while the whole||
place rocked as if there had been an earthquake. Our coy. had been on duty in the trenches during the night, and we looked on thunderstruck. "What the deuce was that?''
everybody asked. "It's a Jack Johnson,” says one. "No, it's a 'coal box,'" maintains another, till some chap declares, "It's a
'diabolo,'" and a "diabolo" we christened it. Others followed in rapid succession, and it would have been useless waste of lives to remain, so the brewery was evacuated. Nothing could have withstood such shells. The Germans attacked after this, occupying the brewery and some houses barely 70 yards away from the trenches. Their attack in the open was feeble and easily repulsed, but from the houses they poured an enfilading fire into a part of the trench, doing severe damage for a time before we silenced them and a gun behind put some shells through the house.
SNIPING AND BEING SNIPED AT
We remained there until about the end of November. Everything had to be done under fire from snipers in the brewery and other places, and we had also rather a muddy time of it here. Our