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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Transcript of the Diary of Rev. J.A.G. Birch, June 1915

Please remember that all transcripts show what is written on the page; spelling and grammatical mistakes are not corrected.

(D/DLI 7/63/2)

"Old Windmill, Flanders

... hill to the village it was a lovely
morning, we walked the horses nearly
all the way and it took us from 11
to 12.30 we got back about 2 very
hungry. I expect we go on Friday
if the men as we expect get in tonight
they will rest tomorrow, and go on next day. It is extraordinary
how the men find amusement, there is a pond here, and they
catch coarse fish, quite nice ones, and last night they got two
big eels 2ft 6in long and such a thickness awful looking
beasts like a conger, most are caught with a fine wire loop
at the end of a pole, snatching. Robbins is great at it and
seized the eel in the mud with both hands. When I returned
from my ride I found him in the middle of the pond sitting
in a round tub, most dangerous as it was deep and full of
mud, but he was a great hero with the rest, who all gave him
advice as to how to manage it. We have just had our usual
nine shells, all over us. One I hear caught a
waggon on the Onderdomm road they
fancy they come from
a gun on rails. June 24th
I am over with the Regiment about a quarter of a mile from
my Bivouac. I came over at 9 for Breakfast they had it ..."