13th Apr 1918: 1st Div take up positions around Strazeele

At daylight battalions of the AIF 1st Division began to take over forward positions around Strazeele, having passed refugees with laden carts on the roads heading west, then entering into empty villages and abandoned houses. Six miles of the army’s emergency front line was being held by the 7th, 8th, 3rd & 4th Battalions from south to north, with their outposts behind hedges, in back-gardens, or orchards of farmhouses and cottages. Farmhouses became prime targets for the artillery of both sides, being reduced to ashes by incendiary shells within a matter of days. At dusk it was evident that most of the troops previously ahead of the Australians would have withdrawn to their rear before the next morning.  

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