January 1916

If the soldiers of 11 DLI looked back to January the previous year, they might have remembered the incident when they marched ten miles in the pouring rain, stood for several hours in the same conditions, while Lord Kitchener and President Poincare of France drove past them in a limousine, and then marched┬áback to barracks, exhausted and wet through. The conditions in the trenches at Rue de Bruges in January 1916 were probably uppermost in their minds and the only thought of Blighty would have been the prospect of home leave. They may have been relieved on 9 January when they started to pack up and march back to a rest area near Min Fontaine. There was a fortnight of training and recuperation, some work but some recreation in the form of football matches. The NCOs walloped the the officers in a game of Rugby. They bade farewell to Lt General Pulteney with a concert and finished the month with an inspection from General Plumer. Where to next, they might have wondered. To be continued…

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