Item 04: Walter Bruce Rainsford diary, 3 January 1917-31 December 1917 - Page 81

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[Page 81]

occasions and there are many shattered remains of buildings in the town. Although a number of the shops & houses are silent & deserted yet there is still a large portion of the civilian population left.

The following day I was fortunate enough to get a trip to Dunkirk on the coast, about 60 kilms. away. We left the CCS at 9 am on a lorry that was going in on duty, & went through Poperinghe, Proven & Rousebuigge. Continuing along the main Dunkirk road bordered with tall, leafless trees we crossed the Belgian border, went through the French towns of Oost Cappel & Rexpoede, skirted Berques [Bergues] & passed through the old fortifications into Dunkirk at 11 am. Shortly after passing through Proven we entered the sector occupied by French troops who are holding the line between the Belgians & us. This is the first time I have been in an actual French war sector and it was very interesting. The towns & villages we went through were all full of their troops in their blue-grey uniforms with occasional splashes of khaki, the uniform of the French colonial troops. Black troops –

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