1st August 1917 - Postcard

Postcard home to Mum ...

The photograph on the postcard is of the
Ruines de l'Abbaye, Clairmarais, Saint-Omer, France

1st August 1917

The rainy season had now set in with a vengeance and in lieu of the usual activities in the field we were treated to a further series of lectures in the Company barn.  Lt Lowndes chose for his subject “Over the Top” but Lts Marsh and Lloyd contributed less exhilarating subjects.  We were a somnalescent crowd by that time and everyone was patently bored with the proceedings.  Suddenly large barrels of beer appeared from nowhere and the whole atmosphere changed.  The Company Officers who provided the liquor opened the offensive with a quartet but the Captain unfortunately failed to reach his objective.  Bradley obliged with “The Village Pump” but the weak French beer was slow in promoting the jollity the occasion demanded.

The day was saved by one Rifleman Elson, a quiet and self-effacing little man who appeared to have no particular friends.  Surprisingly Elson expressed his willingness to lead the Company in ‘a few choruses’ but explained with some diffidence that he was a member of the Salvation Army band in private life so his repertoire was somewhat restricted.  Elson was the success of the evening.  His audience was well acquainted with the Salvation Army tunes and joined in lustily – however the words they sang were not those normally heard with tambourine accompaniment performed by that other army on street corners back in England.  Elson was a great sport, he entered into the spirit of the occasion with tremendous verve and the whole of B Company agreed that the performance was worthy of at least a couple of stripes!

Sick. Very wet. No parades.
Lectures by Mr Lowndes ("Over the top") and Mr Marsh and Mr Lloyd.
Company concert in barn.
Captain provides beer.
Card home.

Original diary entry
Original journal notes