31st July 1917

Sick. Mess orderly.
Morning - snipers parade.
Patrol work - copse taken.
Afternoon off.
Firing on the range in evening. 200 yards.
Very wet.

Original diary entry
Original journal notes

"The Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
The battle opened at 3:50am on July 31st, and in the north considerable progress was made; but 'the difficult country east of Ypres, where the Menin road crosses the crest of the Wytschaete-Passchendaele Ridge, formed the key to the enemy's position, and here the most determined opposition was encountered.' (see Sir Douglas Haig's despatch of January 8th, 1918)

In this area the German first-line system (which included Shrewsbury Forest, Sanctuary Wood, Stirling Castle, Hooge and Bellewarde Ridge) was captured; but the advance was held up in two small woods, known as Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood. These woods were destined to be the scene of the fighting in which the Queen's Westminsters were engaged twelve days later.
The weather broke a few hours after the attack, and for four days the rain came down in a ceaseless torrent. No words can adequately describe the awful condition to which the ground was reduced. 'The low-lying, clayey soil, torn by shells and sodden with rain, turned into a succession of vast muddy pools. The valleys of the choked and overflowing streams were speedily transformed into long stretches of bog, impassable except for a few well-defined tracks which became marks for the enemy's artillery.' (Sir Douglas Haig's despatch.)"
Excerpt from "The War History of the 1st Battalion Queen's Westminster Rifles 1914-1918" [ISBN 1-84342-610-2]