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[Page 137]

between great banks thickly covered with ferns & shrubs and would then emerge into open country with a little village nestling in a hollow and a few country people industriously toiling in the fields. When it got too dark to see any longer we lay down on the floor of the truck for a bit of a snooze – as far as our cramped condition would allow. At 1.30 a.m. we were aroused and detrained in the drizzling rain at Harfleur. From here it was only a short march to the Aust. Gen. Base Depot at Rouelles, our destination. It appears that no-one knew we were coming and no accomodation was ready for us. Two of us managed to find a temporary home on the stage of the big Y.M.C.A. theatre in the camp. Next morning I was able to see how beautifully situated the camp was. About 6 or 7 kiloms. inland from the busy seaport of Le Havre to which it is linked by train & tram the huts & tents stand on the side of a pretty valley – the cream coloured tram wending its way along the opposite slope passed past attractive looking chateaux & detached cottages. Leave out of camp being unfortunately extremely restricted I was unable to get into the town yesterday.

Mond. 14th Oct.
We moved out of the A.G.B.D. at 4 o'clock on Sat. afternoon and marched through Harfleur into Le Havre passing numerous French, British, American & Belgian munition & ordnance works on the 10 kilometre track. Le Havre is a very busy city with plenty of shipping in the port. The town, being practically outside the bombing zone, is well lighted. After hanging about the wharf for some time we were marched on to a steamer that lay alongside. At 11 p.m. we started on the channel trip with the chaps so tightly packed aboard that there was not sufficient room for everyone to lie down on the decks for a sleep. Everyone was moving about fairly early after a chilly but calm night and the Isle of Wight passed about 7 a.m. Two hours later on a fine morning we brought up at the docks and disembarked, to march straight on to the railway platform. A very pretty little part of the country was then traversed in the train when we travelled through Andover Junction & Ludgershall to Tidworth – the big Australian camp centre. Here there was a big mob of Australians from the English front, W.A.A.C.S., nurses, Y.M.C.A.-ites, civilians, etc. etc. to greet the heros from the war, a brass band blared something or other and there was a general

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