battalion after battalion had endured intensities of experience in that intensified strip of territory. Night after night the tea-dixies had been carried up that twisting communication trench. Night after night sentries had stared over sodden parapets until the sky reddened and the hostile territory emerged, familiar and yet foreign. Not a very good sector to hold, I thought, observing how our cramped trench system had been overlooked by the Germans. That mile-and- a-bit back to Basseux hadn't been so easy a couple of months ago. In peace time the village must have been quite a pretty little place, and even now it wasn't very badly damaged. All our officers were billeted in a dilapi- dated white chateau, which I now explored until I was sitting with my feet out of the window of an attic. Down in the courtyard Ormand and Dunning and one or two others were playing cricket with a stump and a wooden ball, using an old brazier as a wicket. Wilmot had found a ramshackle piano from which he was extracting his favourite melodies. Pigeons fluttered around the red tiled roofs and cooed in the warm evening sunshine. Three yellow balloons were visible. Then the little Adjutant bustled across the courtyard with a bunch of papers in his hand. There was no time for relaxation in the orderly room, for after to-day we were under orders to move at the shortest notice. . . . Young Ormand shouted up at me, "Come down and have a knock at the nets." The Battle of Arras began at 5.30 next morning. For two days we hung about the chateau, listening to the noise (of Military History being manufactured re- gardless of expense) and waiting for the latest rumours. s 51?