March 1916

During March 1916, the 11 DLI were stationed at a château near Elverdinghe, requisitioned (so it was said) from an Austrian count. The weather was universally bad throughout the month, with cold, rain and frost. The battalion were travelling daily from the base  to work on the improving the trench systems but, as fast as they worked, the weather undid much of what they achieved. It was dispiriting work, made worse by the fact that the billets were under constant bombardment. So bad were the conditions that, by the end of March, the battalion were spending more time making dugouts to replace the tents and huts that were not protection against enemy shelling. Five lost their lives, but many more were wounded and fell ill.