1914 – September 7

We learnt what French shunting is like last night and Barnes was nearly killed. I made him move from beneath a wall of bacon, 60 lb. boxes, which looked dangerous and brought him over my end of the truck. No sooner done than we had a tremendous bang and the whole lot of about 100 boxes turned over just where he had lain and part shot right across between us without hitting either but flattening my bucket like a pancake – it might have been my head. Arrived Melun 5 a.m. Got train emptied and started back at 4.30 p.m., with awful scallywags on board. 40 wounded horses, 120 bus drivers and labourers specially enlisted and mostly drunk. The station line is a sight. Ground covered with biscuits, bread, straw, filth, German uniforms, empty tins, drums of petrol, gun wheels, saddlery and harness, all just as a child throws its toys into a corner of the nursery. Arrived Villeneuve 10.30 p.m., 15 miles in 6 hours.

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