16th March 1916 Thursday
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March was proving a very active month for young Douglas with the 14th Welsh in terms of front line action against the enemy. However a little relief was to come on the 16th.
“ On March 16th we came out of the front line and into the village, a support line, being relieved by the 15th Welsh. My aid post was now nearer the front line and in a battered house on Windy Corner- not a nice spot at all.
We had a lot of enemy shell-fire to endure, as the Huns were searching for one of our batteries which was concealed in some bushes not far behind us at Windy Corner. I took the opportunity of the rest period in getting the men’s feet bathed daily in the *canal. We were spotted on the job once and shelled by our opposite numbers. One man was wounded in the head and we all got a fright. One man had a swim in the canal and found the water very cold. He used some choice language in describing how cold it was. We used to have these parades near Vauxhall Bridge.
* It is of interest that Douglas would choose to bathe the men’s feet in the canal. I am not an expert on the condition of the water in French canals but here in the UK it is not very advisable to bathe in canal water for health reasons, although I have done personally both voluntarily and involuntarily. I can’t imagine the water content being much different in France. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/26/weils-disease-andy-holmes
** Not the one over the Thames. We are trying to find it on a trench map. Any help appreciated.
The next post follows on 18th March.
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