FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th

Another nice day. Our Art’y very active again last night, much noise. Bosche put a few over. Today about noon he began shelling end of tram line where some men, I suppose, exposed themselves, and a trench behind. Was very persistent for over an hour, but no damage done. Shill. is splendid. I am getting slack and lazy and leaving too much to him, I’m afraid. He is an enormous help. Poor Robinson was hit through the liver; they operated and his condition is dangerous. The new Elephant is quite comfy as a mess. Huts progressing at Red Lodge. J.J. is capital, always cheery, and does good work. Owing to these working parties one can never got hold of the men for drill when out of the line, and they get into slack ways. I’m delighted to see Elkington’s brother has been re-instated—a fine performance at his age to enlist in the Foreign Legion! We are living much more comfortably now; fresh fish and vegetables, and messing only 2½ francs daily. I have been slack this tour and haven’t been round in the early morning. The C.R.E. has gone—de Vitry [sic] by name.


Footnote

Lieutenant Colonel J F Elkington commanded 1st Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the actions in Belgium and France in August 1914. On 27 August he and Lieutenant Colonel A E Mainwaring, Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion, The Dublin Fusiliers, gave an undertaking to the mayor of St Quentin not to endanger the city or its inhabitants by fighting the advancing enemy in the town. Both officers were tried by court martial and cashiered. Elkington enlisted into the French Foreign Legion (aged 48) and was badly wounded at Navarin Farm during the Second Battle of Champagne, earning the Médaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre. As a consequence, and somewhat controversially, in September 1916 he was reinstated to his former rank and later awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Mainwaring remained disgraced.

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