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Trench Warfare and a discussion of yesterday's Field
Day. The Brigadier has warned us to expect "the fall
of Paris". (The Germans are on the Marne and claim
45,000 more prisoners.)
But I have my large airy upper-chamber in the
Chateau where I can be alone sometimes. From the
window one sees the tops of big trees; a huge cedar,
two fine ashes, a walnut, and some chestnuts. All
towering up very magnificently. Birds chirp; the guns
rumble miles away; and my servant has picked some
syringa and wild roses, which are in a bowl by my
bed. A jolly young lance-corporal (headquarters sig-
naller) came in to cut my hair this morning; he chat-
tered away about the Germans and so on. Likes
France, but thinks the War can't be ended by fighting.
Very sensible. Then he clattered down the stairs
(echoing boards) whistling "Dixieland".
After tea the mail came in; a good one for me as it
contained de la Mare's new book of poems. I went
out and read some of them under a thorn hedge, sit-
ting in the long grass with a charming glimpse of the
backs of barns and men sitting in the sun, and the
graveyard. All the graves are of men killed in the war
—mostly French. But there are flowers—white pinks
Then I watched the Company playing football,
and getting beaten. And now I must do the accounts
of our Company mess.
June 4. Out 7.15 till 4.15, Did a Battalion attack.
After lunch a gas lecture, and then we were bom-
barded with smoke and gas. I was feeling jumpy and
nerve-ridden all day. It would be a relief to shed tears
now. But I smoke on my bed, and the Divisional brass
band is tootling on the grass outside the Chateau.
I will read de la Mare and try to escape from fecl-