Suddenly in February I was ordered down to the wagon line to go on leave, off I went with a clean bill of health from the Doctor, fleas as well!.  I got to London, bought a clean change and had a bath at the YMCA and called at Aunts.  Apparently Uncle said, “That sounds like young Langley’s knock” not dreaming it was me.  So I stayed that night (fleas as well).  Next day I went home to Lynn.  Everybody took an extra day but some had overdone it so when I got back I was put on charge. I went before the CO and said I didn’t know the train went so early and had no instructions when I left the Unit – which was true although I did know the time the train left London.  The CO said to the Sergeant Major “What’s this man like” The SM said “I don’t know, he’s always in the line” so I got away with it.

Now the ruddy Pork and Beans broke down and ran away which left us being shelled more or less from the rear, so we pulled back to the ramparts of Ypres, just where we started from!  Jerry had now broken through the south so we transferred to that sector (Grande Serl Bois and Petite Serl Bois?)-Somewhere in France, that’s all I know. By this time all the Signallers who had been there when I first joined the unit had gone, some wounded, some killed, some from sickness.  The hard winter at Passendale took its toll.  We were now operating in cornfields.  The line was floating and I went forward with our CO to find out the lay of the land.  Twice certain we were in front of our own Infantry. Once a head bobbed up a hole in the cornfields as we crawled through – he said he’d been put forward with his machine gun ready for an attack the next morning. Another time as we crawled through long grass we saw Jerries in an old house. In a cafe we got too I collected some picture postcards and sent them to my sister in Canada (she collected postcards).  Later I had a letter from her saying that one card was in English and she sent it to an address in Yorkshire with a covering letter saying how it came into her hands  Later she had a reply from the young lady concerned saying it came as a great shock to her as it was a year to the day that she heard that he had been killed. I understand about the letter being there – for a year ago that area would have been well behind the line and where troops would come to rest, but why it was never posted I don’t know.

Later I got flu again and went to the wagon line again.

 

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