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PART IV: FINAL EXPERIENCES
I NEVER WENT back to those trenches in front of
The influenza epidemic defied all operation orders
of the Divisional staff, and during the latter part of
June more than half the men in our brigade were too
ill to leave their billets. Owing to the fact that I began
a new notebook after June i^h, and subsequently
lost it, no contemporary record of my sensations and
ideas is available; so I must now write the remainder
of this story out of my head.
The first episode which memory recovers from this
undiaried period is a pleasant one. I acquired a
second-in-command for my company.
Hitherto no such person had existed, and I was
beginning to feel the strain. In that private life of
mine which more or less emerges from my diary,
solemn introspection was getting the better of my
sense of humour.
But now a beneficent presence arrived in the shape
of Velmore, and I very soon began to say to myself
that I really didn't know what I'd have done without
him. It was like having an extra head and a duplicate
pair of eyes. Velmore was a tall, dark, young man
who had been up at Oxford for an academic year
when the outbreak of war interrupted his studies.
More scholastic than soldier-like in appearance