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daylight/5 said Kendle. I straightened my stiff and
weary back and looked at him. His jaunty fag-snioking
demeanour and freckled boyish face seemed to defy
the darkness we had emerged from. That moment
has impressed itself strongly on my memory; young
Kendle was remarkable for his cheerfulness and
courage, and his cheeky jokes. Many a company had
its Kendle, until the war broke his spirit. . . . The
large solicitous countenance of old man Barton now
appeared above the parapet; with almost aunt-like
anxiety he urged us to come in before we got sniped.
But there had been no sniping that night, and the
machine-gun at Wing Corner had been silent. Wing
Corner was at the edge of the skeleton village of
Fricourt, whose ruinous church tower was now dis-
tinctly visible against the dark green wood. The
Germans, coming up from their foundering dug-outs,
would soon be staring grimly across at us while they
waited for the relentless bombardment to begin again.
As we got down into the trench young Kendle re-
marked that my new wire-cutters were a fair treat.

Next day, in warm and breezy weather, we moved
to our battle-assembly position. For C Company
"battle-assembly position" meant being broken up
into ammunition carrying parties, while Barton, Jen-
kins, and myself occupied an inglorious dug-out in
the support line. The Manchesters were due to re-
lieve us at 9 a.m., but there was still no sign of them
at 10.30, so Barton, who was in a free and easy mood
(caused by our immunity from to-morrow's attack)
led the company away and left New Trench to look
after itself. I had made up my mind to have another