April 1916

April was a comparatively quiet month for 11 DLI. After a few alerts and standing to in the Elverdinghe defences, they were moved on 16 April to Oodezeele, ostensibly for rest and recreation. Lt Marples certainly got a rest when he went down with German measles – it is not known if he contracted it while visiting the enemy trenches, but probably not!

‘Rest’ consisted of route marches, training, physical exercise, bayonet practice, bombing practice, church parades, interspersed with ‘work parties’. The men must have been totally overwhelmed by a lecture from Lt Ward on ‘Gas Preventatives’ and from Captain Scott on ‘Lessons from the South African War’, especially when the latter was held at 6.30 in the evening. The officers enjoyed some riding practice. The men had the much desired pleasure of baths at Wormhoudt. Definitely better than being in the trenches, though.

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