On May 18 we moved from Souastre to Boiry St. Martin, where B.H.Q. were in some wooden huts, amongst the ruins of the village. On May 19 I went over to Ayette, a neighbouring village, and spent the morning training men of the 7th N.F. in rifle-grenades. Next day I went with Capt.
Leaving my two observers on the ridge west of Dierville Farm I approached the ruined buildings of the farm which lie a little west of the road between Bucquoy and Ayette. While I was here I saw some of our infantry marching along this road out of Bucquoy and forming a line along it. One of them asked me where they could get in touch with our troops on the left.
After that I went to Adinfer where the Divisional Staff were quartered in wooden huts. Here I got a cup of coffee and had a chat with the Divisional Intelligence Officer, Lieut. G.F. Doble, M.C. I found that D.H.Q. were moving back to Monchy-au-Bois. My instructions were to reconnoitre the roads from Ayette towards Bucquoy, Ablainzevelle, and Courcelles-le-Comte.
During the evening the battalion got orders to be prepared to form a defensive flank between Le Quesnoy Farm and Adinfer Wood. The enemy's attacks had made progress on our left towards Ayette, and it was feared that he might break through in that direction. Next morning, however, March 28, still found us at Essarts.
About 10.30 A.M. the enemy's artillery opened a scattered fire on the neighbourhood of Essarts, apparently searching the hollows for our battery positions. But it was not until 11 A.M. that the enemy started to shell our forward positions. From 11 A.M. to 11.25 A.M. a heavy barrage of flame-shells was put down about Dierville Farm and along the road leading from Bucquoy to Ayette.
We knew then that things were not going too well in front. When we reached Basseux about 6 P.M. the buses were turned round and we went on in an easterly direction till we reached Ayette. Here we got down and marched in the darkness to the ruined village of Adinfer.