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raid was to enter the enemy loop on the edge of the
crater; to enter Kiel Trench at two points; to exam-
ine the portions of trench thus isolated, capture pris-
oners, bomb dug-outs, and kill Germans. An
"evacuating party" (seven men carrying two ten-foot
ladders and a red flash lamp) followed the others.
The ladders were considered important, as the Ger-
man front trench was believed to be deep and there-
fore difficult to get out of in a hurry. There were two
mine-craters a few yards from our parapet; these
craters were about fifty yards in diameter and about
fifty feet deep; their sides were steep and composed of
thin soft soil; there was water at the bottom of them.
Our men crossed by a narrow bridge of earth be-
tween the craters; the distance to the German wire
was about sixty yards.

It was now midnight. The five parties had van-
ished into the darkness on all fours. It was raining
quietly and persistently. I sat on the parapet waiting
for something to happen. Except for two men at a
sentry post near by (they were now only spectators)
there seemed to be no one about. "They'll never keep

that-----inside the trench," muttered the sentry to

his mate and even at that tense moment I valued
the compliment. Major Robson and the stretcher-
bearers had been called away by a message. There
must be some trouble further along, I thought, won-
dering what it could be, for I hadn't heard a sound.
Now and again I looked at my luminous watch- Five,
ten, fifteen minutes passed in ominous silence. An
occasional flare, never near our craters, revealed the
streaming rain, blanched the tangles of wire that
wound away into the gloom, and came to nothing,
bringing down the night. Unable to remain inactive
any longer, I crawled a little way out. As I went, a