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Army Commander paid us a brief (and mercifully in-
formal) visit, and this glimpse of his geniality made
the men feel that they had done creditably. Neverthe-
less, as he squelched among the brown tents in his
boots and spurs, more than one voice might have been

heard muttering, "Why couldn't the old-----have

dumped us in a drier spot?35 But the Fourth Army
figure-head may well have been absent-minded that
afternoon, since the Welsh Division had attacked
Mametz Wood earlier in the day, and he must already
have been digesting the first reports, which reached us
in wild rumours next morning.

Basking in the sunshine after breakfast with Barton
and Durley, I felt that to-day was all that concerned
us. If there had been a disastrous muddle, with troops
stampeding under machine-gun fire, it was twelve
miles away and no business of ours until we were
called upon to carry on the good work. There were
no parades to-day, and we were going into Amiens for
lunch—Dottrell and the Adjutant with us. Barton,
with a brown field-service notebook on his knee, was
writing a letter to his wife. "Do you always light your
pipe with your left hand, Kangar?" he asked, looking
up as he tore another leaf out. I replied that I sup-
posed so, though I'd never noticed it before. Then
I rambled on for a bit about how unobservant one
could be. I said (knowing that old man Barton liked
hearing about such things) "We've got a grandfather
clock in the hall at home and for years and years I
thought the maker's name was Thos. Verney. London.
Then one day I decided to give the old brass face
a polish up and I found that it was Thos. Vernon>
Ludlow!" Barton thought this a pleasing coincidence
because he lived in Shropshire and had been to Lud-
low Races. A square mile of Shropshire, he asserted,