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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

There were several of us on board (each Battalion
in our Brigade was sending two officers) and we must
have stopped at the next village to pick up a few
more. But memory tries to misinform me that Flook
and I were alone on that omnibus, with a fresh breeze
in our faces and our minds "making a separate peace"
with the late April landscape. With sober satisfaction
I watched a train moving out of a station with rum-
ble and clank of wheels while we waited at the cross-
ing gates. Children in a village street surprised me: I
saw a little one fall, to be gathered, dusted, cuffed
and cherished by its mother. Up in the line one some-
how lost touch with such humanities.

The War was abundantly visible in supply-con-
voys, artillery horse-lines, in the dirty white tents of a
Red Gross camp, or in troops going placidly to their
billets. But everyone seemed to be off duty; spring
had arrived and the fruit trees were in blossom;
breezes ruffled the reedy pools and creeks along the
Somme, and here and there a peaceful fisherman for-
got that he was a soldier on active service. I had been
in close contact with trench warfare, and here was a
demonstration of its contrast with cosy civilian com-
fort. One has to find things out as one goes along, I
thought; and I was whole-heartedly grateful for the
green grass and a miller's wagon with four horses,
and the spire of Amiens Cathedral rising above the
congregated roofs of an undamaged city.

The Fourth Army School was at Flixecourt, a clean
little town exactly halfway between Amiens and
Abbeville. Between Flixecourt and the War (which
for my locally experienced mind meant the Fricourt

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