Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

roads round Fricourt. On the hill about Becordel we
dozed for an hour in long wet grass, with stars over-
head and guns booming and flashing in the valleys
below. Then, in the first glimmer of a cold misty
dawn, we trudged on to Heilly. We were there by
eight o'clock, in hot sunshine. Our camp was on a
marsh by the river Ancre—not a good camp when it
rained (as it did before long) but a much pleasanter
place than the Somme battlefield. . . . After three
hours5 sleep I was roused by Flook. All officers were
required to attend the Brigadier's conference. At this
function there was no need for me to open my mouth,
except for an occasional yawn. Kinjack favoured me
with a good-humoured grin. He only made one fur-
ther comment on my non-consolidation of that for-
tuitously captured trench. He would probably leave
me out of the "next show" as a punishment, he said.
Some people asserted that he had no sense of humour,
but I venture to disagree with them.


NOBODY HAD any allusions about the duration of
our holiday at Heilly. Our Division had been
congratulated by the Commander-in-Chief, and our
Brigadier had made it clear that further efforts would
be required of us in the near future. In the meantime
the troops contrived to be cheerful; to be away from
the battle and in a good village was all that mattered,
for the moment. Our casualties had not been heavy
(we had lost about 100 men but only a dozen of them
had been killed). There was some grumbling on the
second day, which was a wet one and reduced our
camp to its natural condition—a swamp; but the