This Week’s War: 214

Aside

‘This is a very war-scarred district, the scene of much severe fighting quite recently, and the villages are all mere heaps of debris. Till the rain came the dust, fanned by a strong wind, was terrible. It was most curious to stand on a piece of high ground and see all around what looked like burning villages […]’

Entry dated September 9th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 211

Aside

“Though one man was just touched here last night, I should have mentioned that no one was really hurt. The shell struck the edge of a trench right under the corner of the building and blew the floor up behind the bar. It was very strange how, occasionally, an isolated shell would drop, as it did here, in a perfectly quiet area…”

Entry dated August 15th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 206

Aside

“We are going to make another move to-day, though only about five miles, and not nearer to the horrid Hun. There is far too much of the ‘circuit’ system in army life; we never get settled but we move.”

Entry dated July 15th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 204

Aside

“It will always be a disappointment to me as regards this war (I cannot answer for the next), that I never was in any actual fighting. The ordinary risks of the trenches troubled me so little that (though I strongly object to the idea of being killed, and have no wish even for the ‘cushiest’ wound), I should like to have carried my experiences a step further – merely for the sake of experience.”

Entry dated June 30th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 199

Aside

“We are fed-up with aeroplanes here, and even if I hear a ‘battle in the air’ overhead I cannot be bothered to look at it. There is plenty of bombing by enemy planes on clear nights in the neighbourhood, but it has never yet got very close to us.”

Entry dated May 27th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 196

Aside

“You would quite enjoy it here; not only have we our own band to play to us in the evening at guard-mounting, which takes place within a few yards of where I work, but in addition the Divisional Band plays each night in the field adjoining – it is quite like Sefton Park!”

Entry dated May 2nd 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 186

Aside

‘No! I have not had time to visit a Canteen or an eggs-and-chips place since I became post-corporal, but I get coffee and other refreshment in the morning while I am waiting for the mail to come up…’

Entry dated February 25th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 182

Aside

“Yesterday, as I was taking the mail home (a limber, of course, actually carries the bags) I met Percy, and this time, as he was on foot, he recognized me and we stopped for a little talk. It is curious, in the deserted streets of a French town – we were just in the confines of Armentieres – for friends and neighbours to meet in this way…”

Entry dated January 23rd, 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

 

This Week’s War: 178

Aside

“We have had our Christmas dinner to-day, Boxing Day; otherwise there has been little doing. Our dinner consisted of some pork, with apple sauce, potatoes, and cabbage; also some excellent plum-pudding, tinned but a good imitation of the home made article. The quality of the dinner was good, if the quantity small. This afternoon, I went for a walk with Chisholm; it was frosty and all the scene white with snow.”

Entry dated December 26th, 1917, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 171

Aside

“More terrible news for you! While spending those few days in shell holes, I developed a passion for the army issue of rum. The conditions were so cold and wretched and the entertainment so poor, that rum certainly engenders a little warmth. So I used quite to look forward to the form of an officer with a rum jar looming out of the darkness, though I could not swallow the stuff under ordinary circumstances. As a matter of fact, though the rum feels warm when trickling down the throat, its genuine warming properties do not compare with those of a cup of hot tea, even to one like myself to whom spirits are a new joy.”

Entry dated November 9th, 1917, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].