August 12, 1918
A few planes over during the night but the bombs dropped were not close. Did nothing all day but rest under the trees, in the evening went for a walk over our front line and late no-man’s land. It was interesting but nothing like the ground fought over during the 1st Somme offensive. What bodies there were had been buried, and we only saw one dead hun, but we counted over 25 horses still lying unburied, and the air was thick in their neighbourhood.
On the night preceding the offensive a lucky shell fell amongst 15 supply tanks of ours and 12 were destroyed. It was a wonderful sight. The contents had been bombs, ammunition and petrol chiefly, and these exploding ignited the petrol stored on the others. Huge pieces of metal were hurled for hundreds of yards and the sides of the tanks were bent double from the heat, and in some cases the whole structure had been torn asunder by the explosion. It was an extraordinary scene of destruction and must have been a wonderful sight in full blaze.
Our pioneers are busy clearing up the battlefield and I believe that arrangements have been made by which the crops will be harvested, through which the trenches run. One cannot help expressing the thought again and again after viewing these things that the Infantry are the ones who have to suffer the most. We also passed 3 destroyed aeroplanes, 2 of ours and one German, the grave of the German pilot being alongside.
The weather is still beautiful. This village, Villiers-Bretonneux, is in ruins, but is quite a big place and very important as Amiens Cathedral can be plainly seen from it. ‘Tis strange that the hun did not push his advantage and try for Amiens, but I suppose he knew best or thought he did.