Item 03: Walter Bruce Rainsford diary, 1 January 1916-31 December 1916 - Page 93
The same afternoon I had quite an interesting yarn with one of our chaps, who was in several towns in Belgium, including Antwerp & Ostend, when bombarded by the Germans two years ago; he was then in the Belgian Army Med. Corps and was sent out to Australia for a sea voyage & rest cure. He however, enlisted in the A.I.F. and was sent to us with reinforcements. He has several brothers in the Belgian Army. Told me quite a lot about Belgium & the north of France.
The French authorities are releasing a large number of their Troops for the harvesting season until the end of August to get in the crops. France is essentially an agricultural country & it is vitally important that the food supply for the next twelve months be assured – armies can't fight on empty stomachs. It is quite a usual thing to see labourers working in the fields