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“Bloody awful. Shocking, it varied a lot. On the Somme I remember utter sheer boredom, no side doing nothing in all of our trenches, till Barnes went over the top in the face of enemy gunfire. We went over the top in High Wood and met concentrated machine gun fire and only half our Regiment came back. And then we didn’t take the High Wood. Only half of us came back the rest were killed or were casualties. Bad as that. It obviously varied a lot. Nothing to do, stuck in the trenches and you couldn’t get out. It was, well you began to wonder. In the hot summer it was pretty awful, in the winter it was worse. The only thing to save you from frostbite was the nightmare of rubbing your feet with whale oil and that was a regular thing. It kept you going though pretty awful. Day after day.”














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