World War 1 – Diary extract

Below is an extract from Captain Dobson’s diary relating to Acting Bombardier Carlin’s actions whilst under fire around or on June 3rd, 1917.

Acting Bombardier Carlin’s records state that he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal on June, 3, 1917.

There is no recorded date on the diary extract below.

I can only surmise what “O.P.” and “S. 9” mean. My guess, based on context of the entry, is Out Post and a type of Artillery shell. A further entry relates to a ‘S. 9. landing in the courtyard’

Appreciate thoughts, comments or corrections on my interpretations.

One day of routine manning I left Carlin and another at the tap in with instructions that if the line went we’d mend it at our end as it always got out about 150 yards from the O.P. the Hun strafing that point every day for no reason whatever and doing no damage except to a few telephone lines.   Sure enough the Hun had his strafe and the line went.  Harper was with me and another man, probably Davis.  Of course they wanted to go out and mend it, but as the line was of no great importance at the moment told them to wait till the strafe stopped – we could see and hear shells bursting.  Next thing Harper got a buzz on the phone showing it was through and a little later old Carlin’s head appeared at the parade, beaded with sweat and much wind up.  I strafed him for coming out when he was told to stay in.  His reply was, “I saw the O.P. was getting it and thought someone might be hit.”  That did not prevent him stopping to mend the line amongst the S. 9.

I have always said that “Windy Bill Carlin” is the bravest man I have met and one of the windiest. The man who is not windy cannot be brave, but the man who does his job at all times and under all conditions and with the wind up all the time, is the man I admire.


Lest We Forget

12 thoughts on “World War 1 – Diary extract

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    • I doubt if I will ever get to Gallipoli….my maternal grandfather served there with the 14th Light Horse. I have heard it is an inspiring place. Did you ever publish your poem? Perhaps it’s on your blog? I will have a look


  5. Read a wonderful article in “Archaeology” and never realized what long and horrific battles in tunnels made up that operation. I had thought it was a general memorial day. When I finished reading, I was stunned!


    • If you are interested I can pass on titles of two books which you may find interesting. One is titled Gallipoli to the Western Front; the other a novel set in France…but even if some of research is true…. I just hope it never happens again.


    • My apologies for not responding earlier Tish. Many thanks for your kind comments. I hope we never have to experience that type of war, or any war, again. We are only on this planet for a short time so why not live in peace?


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