7th March 1916 Tuesday

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Douglas had been with the 14th Welsh for a week. One night the 14th Welsh Concert Party had given a very good concert in a factory that was thoroughly enjoyed by the men, including General Ivor Phillips.

On this Tuesday the unit left Locon.

“I proceeded with the Battalion to Gorre, via Zeelobes*, Vielle Chapelle, Lacature and Le Touret. Battalion Headquarters was in a huge chateau, looted by the German Crown Prince at the beginning of the war. After a day or two there, we had four days in the trenches at Givenchy and a hot time we had there too with numerous casualties. To get to the front line we went along the north bank of the la Bassee canal and passed ‘Lone Farm’, a bleak spot that housed the 129th Field Ambulance Dressing Station.

My Aid Post in the battered remains of Givenchy was in a well sandbagged room of a dilapidated house and my own funk hole and sleeping abode was in a tiny underground dug-out behind the house, quite a cozy wee place and safe. The Battalion Headquarters was up the road and Windy Corner another 100 yards nearer the line.

There was a small cemetery close to my aid post and I saw many of our men buried there during our short stay.”

Givenchy Village as it was in the war. When I got to the front in 1916 only a heap of bricks and rubble marked where the pretty little village once stood.

“Givenchy Village as it was in the war. When I got to the front in 1916 only a heap of bricks and rubble marked where the pretty little village once stood.”

I believe the small cemetery was in fact probably what is now called the Guards Cemetery at Windy Corner.

Guards Corner cemetery map

Guards Corner cemetery pic

* Looking on a modern map Zeelobes is Rue des Lobes.

Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here

 

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