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[Page 83]

inspection of the newly occupied trenches. You also pass a continual stream of stretcher bearers who have been working withour a rest for the last twenty four hours bringing in our wounded. Our advance has been so suceessful that they tell you with pride not a man has been left alive lying out in front of the line. They are also bringing down our dead to bury them in one of the newly formed little cemeterys. I see a trench leading off to the right. Someone tells me this is the entrance to the Famous Boomerang Fort which has been taken and retaken many times.

You pass into it through filth and slush until the ground rises when it becomes dryer. It has been continually subjected to tremendous bombardments and on the morning of the 28th received a concentrated fire of high explosive shells yet singularly little damage seems to have been done to the trenches which are cut seven feet deep and very narrow. The place is packed with debris like the Gully. The same awful stench pervades everything and the flies swarm in millions. In one corner seven Rurks with their rifles across their knees are sitting togther. On man has his arm round the neck of his friend and a smile on his face as if they had been cracking a joke when death overwhelmed them.

All now have the appearance of being merely asleep for of the seven I only see one who shows any outward injury. How were they killed.
A soldier comes up with a bag to collect bombs which they have on them. He gives it as his opinion that they were killed by the explosion of that deadly French Trench Mortar with its seventy pounds of Mellinite which blows the breath of life right out of a man without his ever being struck or knowing what has happened. Peeping carefuuly over the top of

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