I have completed the transcriptions for 1916 from the war diaries of the 2nd battalion Seaforth Highlanders, and the last few entries were quite revealing as to conditions on the ground. What was also quite striking was the lack of progress on the ground. From July 1st until December, the battalion moved in the area between Beaumont-Hamel and Sailly-Saillisel, a distance of about 10 miles.
The accounts also mention the mud and the atrocious state of the trenches, sometimes not affording any cover at all. One day, 14 men were lost when they were filling in old trenches, because they hit live ammunition in the ground.