Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Somewhere in France | September 1918

October 27, 1918

Work can often be a pleasure, the following extracts from one of our Engineer Corps boys in or near the front line trenches of France, indicate that the most unusual of tasks and conditions have their bright side:

“I feel in a particularly good frame of mind tonight, cause by finding a barn full of hay today. Now that does not seem like a very remarkable thing, does it? Ah! But it was a wonderful discovery, because sleeping on the ground had long since lost its romance, and the ground was getting a little harder every night. Now our cozy little tent is piled deep with sweet smelling hay, and Chris and I are as comfortable as can be.

Was awakened this morning by Chris with the explanation that if I wanted any breakfast I had better get a move on. Result—wild dash for shoes, and breakfast of bacon and potatoes. Then I shouldered my trusty shovel, executed a squads left and marched three miles to work. On sighting the enemy (work) deployed and advanced in skirmishing order, attached the enemy on all sides, and after eight hours hard fighting, interrupted by a feast of pork and cabbage, and the discovery of the aforementioned barn, was victorious. Then the march homeward with the spoils of war (the aforementioned hay) followed by a good supper of hot cakes and beans. I am ashamed to say that I lined up three times for the former, and would have continued doing so if the cakes had not given out.

Then followed a very delicate operation, namely shaving in the dark. Ah! With me that is the feat of feats, and another victory was scored for the A. E. F. (American Excavating Forces).”

W. O. Henderson, 21st Eng

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