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Monday, 1 August 2011

War Dairy Entry: July 31st 1916

Borrowed a car from the ASC and started off for LA Panne at 1130am with Gillon. We passed through Furnes, which has a very nice old market square and Hotel de ville. The NE end of the town has been shelled a bit but not much damaged. The Belgian army are all over this area, and are smarter than I expected. On arrival at La Panne we stopped at a house to ask the sentry the way to the British Mission (Military with Belgian Army). The house turned out to be King Albert’s, and he was there at the time. O’ Connor is with the mission and we intended to have lunch with him but Prince Algernon of Teck who is head of the mission met us at the door and asked us to lunch. O’Connor turned up later. We had a very good lunch, and borrowed their bathing kit afterwards and bathed. All along the cost there are wire entanglements along the sand and machine gun emplacements just behind, which form the defences. O’Connor showed us round the town. We started back about 3.30pm ,  we wanted to go through Dunkirk but were told we should be stopped without proper passes, so we went back through Furnes. Outside Furnes we were stopped by a sentry, and as we had not got a pass to travel in the Belgian area, he would not let us go through the town but made us take a detour round the E side. However we took a wrong turning and some found ourselves going through the square again.
The 88th Brigade took over the right sector of the divn line last nigh.
The SWB and KOSB moved up into Ypres this evening , the SWB relieving a battn of the 71st on the canal bank and the KOSB, a battn Ypres prison and surrounding cellars.

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