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o ME TIME IN the second week of February I
crossed to Havre on a detestable boat named
Archangel As soon as the boat began to move I was
aware of a sense of relief. It was no use worrying about
the War now; I was in the Machine again, and all
responsibility for my future was in the haphazard con-
trol of whatever powers manipulated the British Ex-
peditionary Force. Most of us felt like that, I imagine,
and the experience was known as "being for it again".
Apart from that, my only recollection of the crossing
is that someone relieved me of my new trench-coat
while I was asleep.

At nine o'clock in the evening of the next day I re-
ported myself at the 5th Infantry Base Depot at
Rouen. The journey from London had lasted thirty-
three hours (a detail which I record for the benefit of
those who like slow-motion war-time details). The
Base Camp was a couple of miles from the town, on
the edge of a pine forest. In the office where I reported
I was informed that I'd been posted to our Second
Battalion; this gave me something definite to grumble
about, for I wanted to go where I was already known,
and the prospect of joining a strange battalion made
me feel more homeless than ever. The 5th I.B.D.
Adjutant advised me to draw some blankets; the