TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20th

Today steady rain and everything is horrible. Yesterday our stretcher bearers went out in the daylight and brought in a dozen wounded, of the next Div. who were lying in no-man’s-land. Very fine performance. Fortunately the Bosche allowed them to do so, but they didn’t know that when they went out. We received the thanks of the Brigade on our left, and I issued an Order of the Day. An officer of ours who went out first (Dobson) was shot and died last night. The story is the Bosche tried to take him prisoner and he refused to go. If true, most gallant. It’s hard to get reliable information. A quiet night, but two mine explosions during the night further north, shook the place. Today we have a trench mortar strafe on, so I expect there will be some retaliation. They are quite mad on courses of instruction. The latest is one for padres. Went down the line this morning.

In my daily French conversation with the Interpreter I have learnt a lot of French affairs. I generally take a subject each day—politics, religion, education, society, etc. It has been most illuminating and instructive. English people hold strangely wrong views on French life and thought, gathered, of course, from French novels, which do not in the least represent French life.


Footnote

Second Lieutenant James Robinson Dobson. Died of wounds in 2nd Casualty Clearing Station on 19 February 1917; Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension.

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