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“We were assembling the night before. I was given various things to carry, besides my own pack of course, rifle, haversack, tin too etc. I was given a telephone to put on my back, what we call a fuller phone. Let me digress a minute, a fuller phone is the new telephone machine. You can speak on it or you could tap on it. And it had a potentiometer. You pull down a lever and it sent a continuous buzz all the way through that didn't interfere with your tapping or correspondence. It stopped the Germans overhearing what you were sending. Of course, a little bit later on, they discovered the answer to it, so it wasn't all that good in the end. But it did fog them for a long time. Anyhow, we were given various things and I said to the Sargent “what about the rations?” as we realised we shouldn't be near any civilisation and whether the rations would get up there as they had to come by pack mules. They could bring the limbers up so far and then they'd transfer the rations on to pack mules and they had to struggle through the mud up to Sanctuary Wood. Then only so far and then the men had to carry them in sacks. Well I said “what about rations Sargent” “Rations” he said “you'll won't want any rations, you'll be dead in the morning”. And he was nearly right, not quite but he was for some of them.”







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