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Memories of our eight weeks at Montagne are
blurred, like the war jargon which was around me
then. I remember it by the light of a^couple of ration
candles, stuck in bottles; for our evenings were almost
homely, except on the few occasions when we went
out for a couple of hours of night-work. And even
that was quite good fun, especially when old man
Barton dropped his pince-nez in the middle of a
wood. Mansfield's lurid language was another source
of amusement. By daylight we were "training for
open warfare". Colonel Winchell was very much on
his toes and intent on impressing the Brigadier with
his keenness and efficiency. He persistently preached
"open warfare5' at us, prophesying a "big advance"
in the spring.

So we did outpost schemes at the forest's edge, and
open-order attacks across wheat-fields and up the
stubbled slopes, while sandy hares galloped away, and
an old shepherd, in a blue frieze cloak with a pointed
hood, watched us from the nook where he was
avoiding the wind.

Every evening, at sunset, the battalion fifes and
drums marched down the village street with martial
music to signify that another day was at an end and
the Flintshire Fusiliers in occupation. Ploughmen
with their grey teams drove a last furrow on the
skyline; windmills spun their sails merrily; rooks
came cawing home from the fields; pigeons circled
above farmstead stacks with whistling sober-hued
wings; and the old shepherd drove his sheep and
goats into the village, tootling on a pipe. Sometimes
3. rampart of approaching rain would blot out the
distance, but the foreground would be striped with
vivid green, lit with a gleam of sun, and an arc of
iridescence spanned the slate-coloured cloud. The