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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

in time to hear that we'd got orders to go up and
dig a trench somewhere in front of Mametz.

For a few minutes the hollow was full of the sub-
dued hubbub and commotion of troops getting into
their equipment. Two battalions had been called out;
the Royal Irish moved off ahead of us. As we went up
the lane toward Mametz I felt that I was leaving all
my previous war experience behind me. For the first
time I was among the debris of an attack. After going
a very short distance we made the first of many halts,
and I saw, arranged by the roadside, about fifty of the
British dead. Many of them were Gordon High-
landers. There were Devons and South Staffordshires
among them, but they were beyond regimental rivalry
now—their fingers mingled in blood-stained bunches,
as though acknowledging the companionship of death.
There was much battle gear lying about, and some
dead horses. There were rags and shreds of clothing,
boots riddled and torn, and when we came to the old
German front-line, a sour pervasive stench which
differed from anything my nostrils had known before.
Meanwhile we made our continually retarded pro-
gress up the hill, and I scrutinized these battle effects
with partially complacent curiosity. I wanted to be
able to say that I had seen "the horrors of war5'; and
here they were, nearly three days old.

No one in the glumly halted column knew what
was delaying us. After four hours we had only pro-
gressed 1,500 yards and were among some ruined
buildings on the outskirts of the village. I have dim
remembrance of the strangeness of the place and our
uneasy dawdling in its midnight desolation. Kinjack
was somewhere ahead of us with a guide. The guide,
having presumably lost his way, was having a much
hotter time than we were. So far we had done no-

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