From Felix’s War Diaries

For ANZAC day – here is ANZAC day from 1918, in my great-grandfather Felix Rooney’s war diaries. He was in Somme, in France.

Tuesday 23
Got up about 9.A.M. Started bagging rations. Left at 3 P.M. with stores and hot stew for the line. When near Courcelles we ran into some heavy shelling and we had to move some across the paddock. Fritz was shelling all around. I got some of our Coy when we got up, to unload the limbers and get the stew dished out. I went up to H’qrs and delivered the rum. All going all right but this is going to be a warm show. Our transport moved out of the wood we were in, down behind Louvencourt. There are plenty of troops around here, both British and French. Turned in 9.P.M.

Wednesday 24
Cold morning inclined to be drizzly. Just heard that after I left the boys last night, Fritz got on to them with some of his heavy shells. Young Sgt Higginbottom of Ch.Ch. got killed. He was only a boy and a good soldier. 12th Coy had four killed and a good few have been wounded. It is hard luck coming out of the front line and getting knocked about in the reserve trenches.

Thursday 25
Anzac Day. Got everything fixed up for the line. Very close and thundery. Heavy rain in afternoon. My storeman went up the line to-day with the rations.
Boys celebrating the anniversary of the ‘landing‘ to-night.

The soldier Felix reports as killed was Bruce Hickinbottom. His record in the NZ role of honour is here. He was 20 years old.