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After the second rush. I looked round and saw that
a few of the men were hanging back a bit, and no
wonder, for a lot of them were only just out from
England! I wondered if I ought to go back to them,
but the only thing I'd got in my head was a tag from
what some instructor had told me when I was a
private in the Artists' Rifles before the War.   In an
attack always keep going forward!   Except for that, I
couldn't think much; the noise was appalling and
I've never had such a dry tongue in my life. I knew
one thing, that we must keep up with the barrage.
We had over 500 yards to go before the first lift and
had been specially told we must follow the barrage
close up. It was a sort of cinema effect; all noise and
no noise. One of my runners was shot through the
face from Ale Alley; I remember something like a
half-brick flying over my head, and the bullets from
the enfilade fire sort of smashing the air in front of
my face. I saw a man just ahead topple over slowly,
almost gracefully, and thought 'poor little chap,
that's his last Gup Tie'. Anyhow, the two companies
were all mixed up by the time we made the third
rush, and we suddenly found ourselves looking down
into Beer Trench with the Boches kneeling below us.
Just on my left, Perrin, on top, and a big Boche,
standing in the trench, fired at one another; down
went the Boche. Then they cleared off along Vat
Alley, and we blundered after them.   I saw one of
our chaps crumpled up, with a lot of blood on the
back of his neck, and I took his rifle and bandolier
and went on with Johnson, my runner. The trench
had fallen in in a lot of places. They kept turning
round and firing back at us. Once., when Johnson was
just behind me, he fired (a cool careful shotóboth
elbows rested) and hit one of them slick in the face;