Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 55
came out in part of the ruined walls, where we stopped to have a good look around. Suddenly out of the darkness there came a voice saying "Qui va la?" Ramsay replied "I am Lieut-Commander Ramsay" which instead of having a friendly effect he anticipated merely brought forth the somewhat curt rejoinder "Reteriz immediatement ou je tire" I waited for no second invitation, but jumped back followed by Ramsay. I then suggested to him that it was a crazy expedition which could only get us into trouble, and that we had much better go back to our respective ships. He saw the sense of my argument, but on passing through the French Camp, we were again run in, and this time it took a lot of explanation before we were released. I found that my old green hat was constantly getting me into trouble, and was regarded by everyone with gravest suspicion.
We then made our way towards the Lancashire landing, and were making good progress when out of the darkness there came a stern challenge "Alt, who goes there?" Again Ramsay replied "I am Lieut- Commander Ramsay", but the magic had lost its spell, and we were met by another curt rejoinder in a broad Lancashire accent "Well, 'ands oop, anyway" There we had to stand with our hands above our heads feeling like two blithering idiots, while the guard closed around us to examine our credentials. However his uniform and my own innocent appearance quickly reassured them and we were allowed to continue our way, to the beach. Personally I was very glad to get back on board the "Implacable" safe and sound.
Wednesday May 5th
This morning I was summoned by signal to go on board the "Arcadian", where I again saw Sir Ian Hamilton. He told me that the operations had recommence the following day and that I ought