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Behind it one felt that they all dreaded going to the
Western Front and would have paid anything to stay
in Palestine.

It was a sort of raffish attempt to turn the whole
thing into a joke and a "smart Yeomanry Regiment"
gamble. Everyone knows now that we are going to
France. All maps were handed in to-day and hot-
weather kit cancelled. The M.O. evidently felt as I
did, for he went quietly out before rthe show

April 7. (Sunday.) 6.45^ a.m. A quiet warm morning;
clouds low on the hilltops and the sun shining
through. Blue smoke rises from the incinerators of
our camp and the one on the far side of the Nablus
road. Everyone busy clearing up among the fig trees
which are now misty green. To-day we begin our
45-mile march down to Ludd. It is also the first day
of our journey to France, or wherever it is we are
going to.

These war diaries of mine contain many a note
scribbled in that hour of departure when the men
are loading limbers or putting on their packs and
everyone is in a fuss, except perhaps the present
writer, who invariably slopes off to some secluded spot
outside the camp or village. From there he hears the
noise of bustling preparation—high shouts, clatter of
tins, sounds of hurrying feet, "come on; fall in, head-
quarters"; and so on.

Birds whistle and pipe small in the still morning
air, flitting among the clematis and broom, alighting
on fig branches or bright green thorn bushes. The
hillside feels more like a garden than ever before—
an everlasting garden just outside the temporary
habitations of men. In half an hour I shall be trudg-
ing along behind the column with a lot of baggage