Wyndam Bolling Blanton diary, 4 August-19 September 1915
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insisted on his being on one of the ward beds until the color came back into his lips. The poor boy has been under lots of strain & has not had much sleep or food. He has been working in the very first trenches removing dead & injured. He has been in Dunkirk all during the shelling. The big German guns are miles back of their own trenches & they shoot over both lines into Dunkirk. They are obliged to shoot very high to reach so distant a mark. The shells are higher than a man & they fall from a height of about 6 miles almost perpendicularly having lost their inertia. There is a constant rattle of artillery. There is no infantry engagement because the Yser lies between the lines & to cross it is fatal. The report of the big guns is heard in Dunkirk, as a huge shock compared to the constant booming of the small guns. The German shoots very accurately, putting practically every sheet [shell] in the center of the town. They put up ballons back of their own lines out of rang [range] of guns to tell the effect of their firing. The explosion of their shells is marked by the black smoke that rises. Air crafts are always in the air and are rarely shot down.