January 5th 1917

Not all our correspondents focus entirely on the War. Some, such as Lieut. Alan Jenks (RE), like to recall their schooldays  –  and playground warfare:

jenks-arc24.12.16 “I remember Martin Collier quite distinctly, also Jack Haldane. When engaged in tactical skirmishes with the latter, my motto used to be ‘he who fights and runs away will live,’ a motto which I have faithfully pursued (so far) through life. If I am caught, it will be through not running away fast enough…”

(I think Leslie Grundy with his water-pistol was equally guilty of getting the vast but clumsy Jack into such a state that he uprooted a sapling to attack his tormentor with wild swipes of trunk and root.)

“As for France and Flanders, which is where I am (Censor Volens, or words to that effect) – well, one’s chief impression is mud and water. I learnt at Lynam’s or elsewhere that water flowed downhill. France is the exception. No well-behaved water does it here. It just stays.

As for work, generally one digs a trench or ditch in peace-time in order to drain a field. Here one has to try to drain the trench into the field. That is what sappers are endeavouring to do here. Action and reaction being equal and opposite, result nil. The only feasible method is to use language so warm that the water boils and so evaporates. This is only a temporary expedient however.

Very best wishes for the School and Staff.” 

January 5th 1916

There are many families close to us who have lost a much loved son, brother or husband over the past year. However, we should not forget the suffering of those families whose boys are either lying seriously wounded in one of our hospitals or remain missing in action:

 

Capt. R. French

Captain Robert French (Royal Welch Fusiliers) was wounded on September 25th in the Battle of Loos. Having spent four days at a Base Hospital in Boulogne, he was admitted to the Empire Hospital in Vincent Square, London, on 30th September 1915.

He underwent an operation on October 17th but he remains paralysed, having no feeling in arms, legs or body and has no power of movement.

 

Edmund Gay

Capt. E. Gay

The London Gazette of November 6th  announced that Lieut. Edmund Gay (Norfolk Reg) was promoted to the rank of temporary Captain, effective 13 August 1915. However, he has been listed as “missing” since August 12th 1915 and we fear he was killed in the attack.

 

This time last year Mr & Mrs Campbell were in this very same position, not knowing whether their son Percy was dead or alive.

We must still hold out hope for Edmund.