Item 04: Walter Bruce Rainsford diary, 3 January 1917-31 December 1917 - Page 28

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one occupied by the Germans and bombarded by them continuously for some time after they were forced to evacuate it. The Field Ambulance I was going to join (14th) is in the 5th Aust. Division which is at present out of the line and the Units of which are billeted in villages round Albert. The station (much marred by Fritz's shells) was full of Troops and I managed to discover a 15th F. Amb. Corporal returning from leave to England who told me in which direction I should have to go to find my Unit.

Loaded up with my kit and not feeling too fresh after a sleepless night spent in a small wooden box car of a troop train I tramped through Albert on a jolly hot summers morning. The town was practically empty as far as civilians were concerned. I passed house after house completely or partly demolished by shellfire. But the worse sight of all was the great Cathedral with its tall domes which acts as a landmark for miles around. The great building was only a shell – only the best part of the

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