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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Editor's note

Usually my job is to transcribe CHT Lucas' handwriting (being a teacher helps there...) and marvel at the matter-of-fact way he recounts the grand issues and minutiae of trench life. However, today's diary entry made a great impact on me,,, partly I think because of the partial break from the 'stand back / observer ' style of previous writing.

The talk of 'pools of blood' is his first real emotional engagement with the casualty issue and is followed up by personal comments about the partly insane soldier of the SWB and the man in the Borders 'throwing a fit'. CHTL just doesn't do such individual observations so maybe even he is beginning to be affected by the '2150 casualties' and the '13 days' under heavy shelling...

The knowledgeable will realise the significance of the last sentence... only 250 men left of the near 1000 strong SWBs who made up their battalion on the 1st of July. 

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