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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 10

From here I was transferred amid a blowing sandstorm that filled ears and eyes, to the 109 Engineers. The boys there congratulated me and welcomed me. They said I was unusually lucky, “for we are going to France in about three or four weeks.” This was a nice how-dye-do for one of my kind; what business had I in France? Had they not enough trouble of their own there, why add to the difficulties and aggravations of our forces at the front? This time my determination to see the captain at once was stronger than ever. Captain S. received me and listened to a very frank statement that, before him was a C.O. and heard my definition of the term. The captain looked wise and suggested that I go on drilling with the rest of the boys and when the time to go into action came, I should then present my claim. I told him that would be treachery and deceiving the war department. “You should worry” was his curt reply.

Whether Captain S. thought me capable of such a cowardly act or not, I cannot say but he was willing to excuse me from drill and applied for me for my next transfer. On one point we both agreed perfectly, viz: The Engineer Corps in the Army was no place for a C.O. as every man must be a trained rifle-man.

After two days in the 109 Engineer I was transferred back to the Fourth Co. in the 59th D. Brigade for board and lodging, but not for work. At the division headquarters I was questioned as to the nature of my objections and then assigned to K.P. duty in an officers mess, under the direction of Chaplain Lt. Harry Klein. This officer told the cook with whom we were to work that he had received special instructions concerning our treatment, and that we were not to be molested in any way as long as we did our work well. In the foregoing paragraph I said “we”

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