Skip Navigation • Access Keys • Frequently Asked Questions •

Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Transcript of the Diary of Private W. Roberts, July 1916

Please remember that all transcripts show what is written on the page; spelling and grammatical mistakes are not corrected.

(D/DLI 7/577/2)


"Opened a violent bombardment on the German
lines 7am a village blown up by our mine and
7.30 advance started We were the 4th Battalion
to go over, which we did about an hour later
The short but terrible rush through the fierce
curtain fire with men falling on all sides I
shall never forget High explosive shells fell all
round us The sights I saw are too terrible to
write about & men almost blown to pieces were
lying side by side Unable to proceed further, the
order to retire was given and I thanked God
that I came through the terrible ordeal unhurt
I went to work in our front line at night but
had to come away as it was almost blown to
pieces There again I saw dead and wounded
lying side by side Some were moaning and
others had so far lost there [sic] reason that they
were laughing and singing. July 2nd Resting in 
one of the trenches but went to carry wounded
out at 11 The communication trench out, was
packed with stretchers Tear shells were sent over
which burst about the entrance of our trenches
and my eyes were running with water Returned 
to our resting trench about day-break. July 3rd
On sentry duty in the battered front line, dead
men, rifles spades and equipment were lying
about and there I had to stay till 2 am next
morning 4th Left the front line at 2 am and got..."