March 1917

Throughout the month 11th DLI worked in the Montauban area, constantly moving camp around Le Mesnil and Rocquigny and then on to Le Transloy. Mostly they were on work parties: wiring, trench digging, road works, clearing the old battlefield area of debris, salvaging wood and other general tasks. Most of the work was done at night, especially in and around the trenches. Shell-fire was an ever present danger. During one of these jobs, 2nd Lieutenant Noel Fletcher was killed, one of several casualties on a daily basis. At the end of the month it was a relief to get a batch of 50 reinforcements, described by the diary writer as ‘One of the best drafts received – good, strong, hardy-looking men – all from Durham’.

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