There is no doubt that our move has begun. Everyone says so. Panes, who has just returned from the front, says that he left them straining in the leash just waiting the word to go. Dora says that the Adjutant in charge of the camp at Aintree announced yesterday (Sunday) at parade that our advance troops were in Lille, which would be splendid indeed, and I have heard the same, on less authority, from others – among them…a man of the Defence fort at Crosby.
I hope we may be in time to prevent the fall of Verdun, which seems imminent otherwise.
26 July 1916. Letter from John Sampson, University Librarian, to his wife [Sampson Archive SP8/1/2/11/64]. This week’s war: 104.