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Medaler

Unable to read one word - Please help

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Medaler

Hello all,

 

I am afraid that I have become stuck. I am currently reading the war diary entry of the 2nd Bn. King's Own Scottish Borderers for 3rd September 1916, and have identified something in it that I really want to use as a quote. The problem is that there is just one word in it that I can't decipher. The whole thing is....

“I don’t think any men of any regiment would have gone to certain death the way ours did, having seen as they did the failure of both the preliminary bombardment and the creeping barrage. Their foremost dead lay almost on the German parapet. The {indistinct} thing about it is that they all knew when they went over that this would happen and not a man flinched so far as I could see. To command such men is an honour of which few among us are worthy.”

Try as I might, I just can't get the missing word. Please see attached pics of the original document. The troublesome word is 5 lines down, 2nd word in.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Mike

War diary extract.jpg

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Russ Platt

Thankful ?

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sotonmate

I see that word too !

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Michelle Young

I agree 

 

Michelle 

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Medaler

My sincere thanks to all of you. I just never considered "th" as the first two letters of it, but it makes perfect sense now you have pointed it out.

 

Warmest regards,

Mike

 

 

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apwright

I read "beautiful".

Compare the b's in "bombardment," and the way most of his e's look like c's or undotted i's. Also he often fails to cross his t's.

 

Adrian

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Howard

It does look like thankful but there are 12 words that start th and none really look like the start of this word. Quite a few letter t are not crossed, some are.

 

I could not see another word that started with the same letter.

 

Howard

text.jpg

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Medaler

Thanks to you two gents I am changing my vote and going with beautiful. This all of course just further demonstrates just how lost I was in the first place. I stared and stared at it until, to be frank, I couldn't see anything. There really is only one long downstroke at the beginning of the word, and the other "th" words always have two. In addition, I think "beautiful" fits the context better.

 

Again, sincere thanks to all. It really is frustrating to get all of the rest of it and fall over on that one word. I also think its a fairly unusual thing to see something like this in a war diary.

 

Regards,

Mike

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Skipman

"painful"

 

Mike

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FROGSMILE

My vote is with ‘thankful’.  Not only does it look more like it to my eyes, but I think that a man of that time would be more likely to have used the word thankful than beautiful in that context.

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BillyH
52 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

My vote is with ‘thankful’.

 . . . . .  and mine!

 

BillyH.

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Gardenerbill

Beautiful for me...

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SteveE

“beautiful” gets my vote.

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593jones

Looks like 'beautiful' to me, too.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
3 hours ago, apwright said:

I read "beautiful".

Compare the b's in "bombardment," and the way most of his e's look like c's or undotted i's. Also he often fails to cross his t's.

 

Adrian

Absolutely correct.

The cursive 'b' has a loop so thin, that it appears as a mere downstroke, and the following attached 'e' is as explained, like a flat 'c' , almost like a vertical downstroke,  so that  the 'be' combination does look a little like a 'h'

And there is only one tall downstroke.

But what convinces me is that the words 'The thankful thing about it is..." is a clumsy construction.

Why would anyone be thankful that all the men were going out to face certain death?

( I could understand an officer saying the exact  opposite -    that 'the thankful thing about this is  [ that they didn't know they were all going to get killed...]

 

'Beautiful' fits much better in the sentence, the context is appropriate,  the writer is obviously in awe of what happened.

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Medaler

Well my sincere thanks are also extended to all of you who have now contributed to this. You have actually all cheered me up no end by making me not feel quite so foolish about not being able to fathom it out in the first place.

 

I really do appreciate all your time and effort.

 

Regards,

Mike

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johntaylor

I read the document before I read anyone else's comments, and I'm with beautiful. I agree it's an unusual word for a War Diary, but sometimes emotion comes out in unexpected places.

 

John

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Annette Carson

I digitally enhanced the extract adding contrast for more clarity. Comparing the letters 'b' and 'e' as they occur elsewhere I have no doubt at all that it's 'beautiful'. He means it in the sense of 'wondrous to contemplate'. Which it was.

 

GWF extract.jpg

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FROGSMILE

Brilliant deductive and analytical work by all that have taken the trouble to breakdown and enhance the script, I can see now that my Mark 1 eyeball and assessment of context was wrong.  “Beautiful” it is.

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