Sunday, 30 November 2014

In Old French Trenches

Monday 30th November 1914: The adjutant of the 1st Battalion tells us that they have just taken over an additional 400 yards of front line trench near Wulvergem. The state of these excavations can be judged by his terse comment that the section taken over is: "full of unburied French soldiers and old trenches". The bodies will have to be disposed of, in order to prevent disease and these old trenches will need to be shored up and joined with the trenches occupied yesterday to form a workmanlike defensive system.

The adjutant further states that the new trenches are in very close contact with the Germans, whose trenches, on slightly higher ground, were within about 25 yards. Imagine playing cricket and, as the batsman, the Germans are about as far away as the bowler as he approaches the opposite crease to bowl to you.

The battalion, despite the receipt of reserves in recent days, is still very weak owing to the actions last month around Festubert and at the beginning of this month at Ypres. Consequently, a company of another Regiment has been detailed to assist in reserve in case of an enemy attack.

Source: X550/2/5

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