‘The rest, dead, maimed or mad’

Lewis34

In Wounded: a Great War novel, the Old Bat takes a break in Poperinghe, Belgium, in September 1917. The officers want to have a group photograph taken of the sixty-five or so originals still serving from the thousand or so who left for Gallipoli in 1915.  Snow is sent with an officer across the border to smuggle in a French photographer in a cart normally used for medical supplies ‘without international complications’.

Tending the cart while the photograph is taken,  Snow reflects  on how gutted the Old Bat was in Egypt following the withdrawal from Gallipoli when the battalion was split in two and half reassigned to 53rd  Battalion, which was subsequently wiped out at Fromelles. If Snow hadn’t unexpectedly been recalled as a runner, he would have been in that. This was so, for my father.

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