WWI War Diary of Ronald Hurbert Mungo Park, M.C. 2nd Lieutenant, Irish Guards

lack of inexperience not bringing enough food or any candles. There was a large contingent of Australians on board the train and they all got out whenever we stopped and were invariably left behind and had to run after the train being cheered on by their officers with shouts of "come on Bill" etc. Some of them managed to drop their rifles out of the window and the train had to be stopped while they picked them up. Travelling in France by troop train is an amusing experience. The train goes at about 10 miles per hour and stopped anywhere whereupon everyone gets out to stretch their legs. Frequently there is no glass to the windows and sometimes no glass to the carriages. The old soldier provides himself with all the comforts he can especially food drink and candles and plenty of literature and tobacco ashe may have to be in the train for days and never get the chance of buying anything. ROUEN looked perfectly beautiful when we arrived as there was a hard frost and the sun had just risen. We spent the whole day there and saw the sights -among which were some very beautiful churches -and incidentally had a much- needed bath. That night we again entrained and after a wearisome journey landed up at the Plateau in a snowstorm the following evening. It was very thrilling as we approached our destination as we heard for the first time the sound of the guns and saw occasional flashes and felt very excited to think that at last we were really in the WAR. We shoved our kit into the Rest Hut and offset to try and find the Division. Luckily Purvis had been out before and knew the ropes and so after wandering about in the dark and enquiring at various huts we stumbled upon 1st Brigade HQ in a kind of hut dugout. Ma Jeffreys was in command and the Brigade was in French huts resting near BILLON farm -the 3rd Brigade being then in the line. The General was most kind and gave anus excellent dinner and made us welcome in every way. We felt at last after all our wanderings we had found friends and I then realised for the first time how lucky I had been to join the Division and become one of a great family of friends. After dinner the General sent us to the 2n d Battalion Coldstream and with them we spent the night. Here again we were made welcome and given of whatever they had. We had to sleep on the floor of the mess hut but as we were thoroughly tired out this did not worry us. Next morning Coltman and I offset early and after a great deal ol difficulty we discovered a post lorry that was going to TREUX with letters. This we boarded 3
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