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By Robert Graves

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Breakfast at corporation headquarters consisted of bacon, eggs, espresso, toast, and marmalade. there have been 3 chairs and ammunition-boxes to sit down on. conversant in corporation commanders who by no means took junior officials into their self belief, I cherished the best way that questions of the instant have been settled at meal-times via a kind of board-meeting with Dunn as chairman. in this first morning we had an extended debate on find out how to retain sentries unsleeping. Dunn ultimately issued a firm order forbidding them to lean opposed to traverses; it made them sleepy. along with, after they fired, the flash could come regularly from an identical position. The Germans could repair a rifle immediate after a time. I advised Dunn of the bullet that handed among Beaumont and myself. ‘Sounds like a hard and fast rifle,’ he acknowledged, ‘because no longer one aimed shot in 100 comes as shut as that at evening. And we had a chap killed in that very traverse the evening we got here in. ’ The Bavarian Guards Reserve, who have been contrary us on the time, looked as if it would have entire keep an eye on of the sniping scenario. Dunn gave me the characters of the N. C. O. s in my platoon: that have been reliable and which needed to be watched. He had all started telling me simply how a lot i may anticipate from the lads at my platoon inspection of rifles and gear, while a soldier got here dashing in, his eyes clean with horror and pleasure. ‘Gas, sir, gasoline! They’re utilizing fuel! ’ ‘My God! ’ exclaimed cost. all of us checked out Dunn, whose soldier-servant the guy was once. Dunn stated imperturbably: ‘Very good, country, convey me my respirator from the opposite room, and one other pot of marmalade. ’ The alarm had originated with smoke blowing throughout from the German trenches, the place breakfast should also were in development; we knew the German meal-times by way of a slackening down of rifle-fire. gasoline had turn into a nightmare. not anyone believed within the efficacy of our respirators, notwithstanding marketed as resistant to any fuel the enemy may well ship over. red military types marked ‘Urgent’ continuously arrived from headquarters to provide an explanation for find out how to use those components: all contradictory. First, the respirators have been to be stored drenched, then they have been to be stored dry, then they have been to be worn in a satchel, then, back, the satchel was once to not be used. Frank Jones-Bateman, a quiet boy of 19, came around me from the corporate on our correct. He pointed out with a fake ease that he had shot a German in advance of breakfast: ‘Sights at 4 hundred,’ he stated. He had simply left Rugby with a scholarship looking ahead to him at Clare, Cambridge. His nickname was once ‘Silent Night’. thirteen listed here are extracts from letters that I wrote at the moment. i've got restored the names of locations, which we have been forbidden to say: might twenty first, 1915. again in billets back at a coal-mining village known as l. a. Bourse. it isn't greater than 3 miles and a part from front line, however the miners are nonetheless operating. As we got here out of the trenches the Germans have been shelling the wooden by means of Cambrin village, trying to find one in all our batteries. I don’t imagine they bought it, however it used to be enjoyable to determine the poplar-trees being lopped down like tulips whilst the whizz-bangs hit them sq..

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