From Bapaume to Passchendaele, 1917

From Bapaume to Passchendaele, 1917

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From Bapaume to Passchendaele, 1917 by Philip Gibbs

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1918

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From Bapaume to Passchendaele, 1917

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Book Excerpt

man would pass some remark to the man ahead. In vaults dug into the sides of the passages were groups of tunnellers and other men half screened by blanket curtains. Their rifles were propped against the quarried rocks. They sat on ammunition boxes and played cards to the light of candles stuck in bottles, which made their shadows flicker fantastically on the walls. They took no interest in the procession beyond their blankets--the walking wounded and the troops going up. Some of them slept on the stone floors with their heads covered by their overcoats and made pillows of their gas-masks. Under some old houses of Arras were women and children--about 700 of them--among our soldiers. They were the people who had lived underground since the beginning of the war and would not leave. Only four of them went away when they were told of the coming battle and its dangers. "We will stay," they said with a certain pride because they had seen so much war. A few women were wounded and one or two killed. Later, after the

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