Item 05: Walter Bruce Rainsford diary, 1 January-31 December 1918 - Page 136

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some time shaking hand after hand & signing autograph after autograph with a ready smile for everyone, until finally after a hurried goodbye to the officers who had until now been in the background, Lieut. Gen. Sir R.S. Birdwood, G.O.C., A.I.F. and G.O.C., 5 British Army saluted, stepped into his car and drove slowly away.

Wed. 9th Oct.
We heard yesterday that there was to be no move the following day as expected, and everyone was terribly down in the dumps as the result. We had been here 6 days doing practically nothing, all on our own in a shattered village and miles from civilisation. The latter is what we are all longing for. The Corps has gone right out for the long waited rest and a long string of 2nd Div. transport passed through the village yesterday. To-day our spirits were considerably raised to learn that we are definitely going to-morrow. Alternative leave is now available – 70 days in England instead of two months at home. Not for mine!

Sat. 12th Oct.
We were due to leave Bray at 9 a.m. on Thursday but through a train derailment we were told to "stand by" much to everyone's intense disappointment. However we were finally marched down to a train standing near Bray Station and entrained in the rain in cattle trucks – there being 36 in ours. We pulled out at 1 p.m. and moved slowly back over the old battlefield through Villers Bretonneux to Amiens, standing some time in the station and allowing all to hop off & get newspapers, etc. There were quite a number of civilians on the station showing that the fine city is rapidly returning to its former state of activity. Pulling out of Amiens about 4 p.m. we journeyed on through Saleux, Namps, Abancourt & Buchy the countryside presenting a pretty picture. After leaving Amiens the ugly signs of war disappeared and there was nothing to mar the calm beauty of the surrounding countryside. Autumn is beginning to show itself and great patches of red, brown & yellow stood out from the surrounding green in its many shades. Often the train passed

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