Item 03: Walter Bruce Rainsford diary, 1 January 1916-31 December 1916 - Page 108
Thurs 7" Sept. 1916, 10.40 pm;
The French Military Authorities are demobilising those of their troops who in civil life were railway employees. Notwithstanding the fact that females are being employed wherever possible, enough men are not available to cope with the heavy military traffic that continues ceaselessly day & night over the French lines. The French railways are very up to date & the rolling stock is very extensive. Belgian engines are also being used & some of them are being run by British workmen.
What is becoming of the French Merchant Service? Not less than 66 % of the shipping has been taken over for transport etc. purposes & trade must have declined in an alarming manner.
The refugees from the part of France occupied by the Germans are still wondering when they are going to