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The Ahier Diary: Crater of blood

Image from Jersey Heritage
Clarence Percy Ahier
Excerpt from the diary of Clarence Ahier

Ahier served in the Somme and at Ypres as an artillery man

A few yards to the left front of our battery was a very gruesome reminder of the terrific struggle that Jerry had put up before yielding this ground.

I refer to a patch of land about 30 square yards with rough notice boards around, bearing this far from happy caution (HUMAN REMAINS. DO NOT DIG) I must go back a couple of days to explain how this came about.

For about 12 months before this offensive commenced, the British had been mining beneath the enemy trenches, and firing tons of high explosives beneath the unsuspecting Hun.

When everything was ready, and just before the infantry went over the top, on July 1st, a button was pressed, and up went hundreds of tons of earth, and hundreds of Germans.

The crater formed by the explosion, measured, in official figures, 350ft in diameter, and 180ft deep.

All around the lip of the crater were German's arms, legs, boots etc.

These were all collected under cover of darkness a huge hole dug, and the lot covered over.

This having been done in a great hurry, the remains were not burried deep enough, and the surface of the ground was saturated with blood.


Clarence Ahier ID card photo from Jersey Heritage Diary of a Jersey soldier found
The diary of a Great War artillery man has been uncovered.
Ahier Diary Great War diary
Look through images relating to the diary of Jersey born Great War soldier Clarence Ahier.
Extracts from the Ahier Diary
We take a look at the diary of Clarence Ahier with the Societe and CI Great War Study group and read extracts from the diary.
Amy Harris looks at the Diary
Amy Harris from BBC Channel Island News looks at the Clarence Ahier Diary in the Societe Library.


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