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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

"Secret. The Bombing Parties of 125 men will ren-
dezvous at 12.30 a.m. to-morrow morning, i6th inst.
in shafts near G Coy. H.Q.The greatest care will be
taken that each separate Company Party keeps to one
side of the Shaft and that the Dump of Bombs be in
the trench at the head of these shafts, suitably split.
The necessity of keeping absolute silence must be
impressed on all men. These parties (under 2nd Lt,
Sherston) will come under the orders of O.C. Gamer-
onians at ZERO minus 10. Lt. Dunning and 2 order-
lies will act liaison and report to O.C. Cameronians
at ZERO minus 5. While the parties are in the shaft
they must keep a free passage way clear for runners,
etc,"

Such was the document which (had I been less for-
tunate) would have been my passport to the Stygian
shore. In the meantime, with another two hours to
sit through, we carried on with our world without end
conversation. We were, I think, on the subject of
Canterbury Cricket Week when my watch warned me
that I must be moving on. As I got up from the table
on which we'd been leaning our elbows, a blurred
version of my face looked at me from the foggy mirror
with an effect of clairvoyance. Hoping that this was
an omen of survival, I went along to the rendezvous-
shaft and satisfied myself that the Bombing Parties
were sitting on the stairs in a bone-chilling draught,
with my two subordinate officers in attendance.

Zero hour was at 3 a.m. and the prefatory uproar
was already rumbling overhead. Having tightened
my mud-caked puttees and put my tie straight (there
was no rule against wearing a tie in an attack), diffi-
dently I entered the Cameronian H.Q. dug-out,
which was up against the foot of the stairs. I was
among strangers, and Zero minus 10 wasn't a time for

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