Friday 10 October 2014

A Country Bus Ride

Saturday 10th October 1914: The 1st Bedfords have been in luck and have ridden in buses today, which must have been a relief to those with blisters from so much marching recently. They marched about six miles from Gennes-Ivergny last night. Our man with the battalion tells us: “We were told that we would finish the rest of the journey in motor buses so stood by and waited for them. We had to wait all night in the bitter coldness”.

The buses arrived at 2pm in the afternoon and after a great deal of moving about we embarked on them. They were all French buses, mostly driven by French soldiers. I sat up in front next to the driver who was a Frenchman who was acting as interpreter to the column. The car was a French converted motor meat carrier and we hope that it is not now necessarily carrying meat for the Germans!”

“The interpreter is a very nice chap and speaks English perfectly as he had been educated at Dulwich College and his father was a French master in an English school. He is most friendly and entertaining and we swapped knives. Mine was the regulation clasp knife which he was very keen to have and gave me his, which is a splendid one with an ivory handle and which he said he had had some seventeen years and which had seen him through the South African and other campaigns. We have promised to take the knives and have them engraved at the first opportunity as a memento of the occasion!”

We understand that the battalion is heading for la Thieuloye some twenty eight miles north-east of Gennes-Ivergny. The 2nd Battalion is, we understand, still in Belgium.

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/2/7

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