24 MON. Cold damp day. Spent all morning at No15 and made ascent in their balloon. View was splendid. Ypres was almost directly beneath us.
Lunched at No15 and went to No9 in afternoon. Sergt Kester from No 9 gave No 15 men instruction on Scammel winch. Balloon and winch shelled at about 7pm. I heard of it at 8pm and went there at once.
Balloon in chaos. Telephone wire cut. Major and Bevan up there. Waited until 9.45 pm and hauled down. W side of Ouderdom. When balloon on ground another shell burst just short of it and very close to me. I let balloon into clouds again and shifted winch. Bagged balloon down in another position. I got back at 3am.
25 TUES. Cold day no view. Went to No15 in morning and Hazebruck in afternoon with Raffles. Bought Emily’s brooch (Fr1.25) and Pen’s pendant (Fr5.0) Fielden dined at Squadron.
26 WED. Dull cold day. Very misty. No ballooning. Walked to No2 and back. Lunched there. Raffles and Bateman dined here. Thornton and Fielden came up after dinner and played poker. Russell and Nicholson also.
27 THUR. Very foggy and cold. Fog cleared off towards evening.
28 FRI. Foggy in early morning but all cleared about 11.
Went to No 5 directly after lunch. Balloon up in afternoon with Gilling and Bradford. Saw it hauled down and let up. About ½ hr after 2nd ascent cable snapped about 250 ft from winch. Wind was NNE and balloon drifted away from the lines and landed without being damaged at La Gorcue. There was a flaw in cable.
I had told Gilling that they would not go over the lines even if cable did break. They had thought otherwise but I pointed out direction of wind compared with lines with my compass. Only 12 cwt on winch.
29 SAT. Went to No 15 and inflated their balloon with air. Patched 15 places inside and put new bands on top. No9’s balloon condemned as it would not ascend beyond 1000 ft. Cable also damaged. Had to get them new balloon and cable.
30 SUN. 6th after Trinity. At No15 all morning. Brought Russell back to lunch. Took Nicholson to No 2 AAP and introduced him. Brought Capt Lee back to dinner. No15’s balloon inflated with 140 tubes of gas. No9’s new French balloon arrived. Intensely hot and misty. No view, No ballooning.