Item 04: Walter Bruce Rainsford diary, 3 January 1917-31 December 1917 - Page 64

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[Page 64]

picking and numerous women & children were at work filling baskets with them. The next morning we marched off again, joining the Brigade in Steenvoorde and set out along the cobbled road leading to Poperinghe that I had traversed the night before. On arriving at Strazeele the column turned to the right and got back in France again, so close were we to the border. However we soon after re-crossed the frontier to stay on Belgian soil je ne sais pas combine de temps. [I do not know how long]. I quite liked the idea of stepping from one country into another, the dividing line on the road being marked by customs posts with notices in French & Flemish and Belgian Mil. Police. The Ambulance arrived at Renningheldt about 3.30 or 4 pm and took over huts & buildings previously occupied by 74th Brit. Fld. Amb. We were now in the front area as could be seen from the mounds of sand bags round huts & odd tents and sandbag shelters built in different positions.

The place fairly hums with military activity. Troops are everywhere and the roads are thronged with one moving mass of motor lorries, cars, ambulances, waggons, horses, etc, while at night the sky is lit up with a red glare from the heavy gunfire. Everyone carries his small protective gas helmet everywhere in case of

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