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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Diary of a Dispatch Rider

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Continuing the diary of John Sangway, dispatch rider with XVII Corps.



Left B[retencourt] for the wilderness. Expected rough conditions & got ‘em. Not so bad though – thanks to good weather & some work. Plenty of old iron & timber to be found. Wonderfully bracing place. High & chalky – suggestive of South Downs. From dugout view for many miles quite open – on skyline a shell-scraped wood with Mont St Eloi tower showing through & beyond it. Sharing dugout with Pat – rather cosy. Tons of work and all quarters very small & cramped.



Came on to L[ouverval?]. Fixed up in ruins. Pretty damnable. Bell tent for mine not too bad but signal office rotten – 2 Armstrong huts for the lot. Started in the open air a la picture-books!



Crossed Canal du Nord on run to POW Cage. Collected some Dahrlenskaselnschafle1 or something like that for Souvenirs.


Peace signed with Bulgaria – unconditional surrender – some week!


1 John probably meant Darlehnkassenschein, banknotes that were issued during and after the war to supplement the regular coins and notes in circulation.


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