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be Carrier Tanks, whose only but on July 19 we received duty is to “gupply,” but you orders to relieve the 1st Tank never know,

Supply Company, who were While I had been snugly at helping the 2nd Tank Brigade home, my old company had to guard the Arras front. So fallen upon hard times. They once again I was driving along

I had moved up in February to that stout ally, the highroad the neighbourhood of Peronne, from St Pol to Arras. and their tanks had been The 2nd Tank Brigade at placed in position immediately this period consisted of the in the rear of the trenches. 10th, 12th, and 14th Battaliong. Then came the great German To each of the battalions was offensive, and they were swept allotted an area of manæuvre, back to Amiens, losing on the in which it would co-operate way the majority of their with other arms in organised tanks, because the bridges over counter-attacks, for the First the Somme were destroyed be- Army was on the defensive. fore the tanks oould cross, and The old method of stationing all their kit and the famous tanks behind or in the battle piano, because all the lorries zone had been discarded. available were required to The Carrier Company in this transport Battalion Head. scheme of defence was reduced quarters. In front of Amiens to carrying tank supplies. Each they were used as a reserve of my seotions would attend Lewis Gun Company. Then to the wants of one battalion, they were “lorried” to the Lys In the event of an enemy front, and for weeks held attack the battalion would grimly & section of the line. dash into the fray, and at the Now they were baok once end of the day's work would again in Blangy, refitting and meet a section of Carrier tanks drawing the new Mk, V. tanks. at a rendezvous and refill witbIt was sixteen months since out reference to lorries, trains, they had left Blangy to de- or other more fallible means of train in a blizzard at Achiet- transport. le-Grand and fight in the snow My own headquarters were at Ballecourt.

near Cauoourt, in a delicious There had been & rumour valley sheltered by woods, afloat soon after we had arrived where happy singing Cbinamen in France that in August or were working lazily. Our September we should turn and Nissen hats were gaily painted. rend the enemy. We were Peas and potatoes had been inclined to scoff at the thought planted, and we had geraniume. -the situation was then none In summer the camp was pertoo favourable - but staff- fection, There was officers, though mysterious, demure maiden, who brought were decidedly insistent. We us each morning eggs, butter, did not expect, in consequenoe, and milk. to be employed antil this Of my four sections, Ryan's

. boasted offensive materialised, was in Noulette Wood, behind

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Vimy; Harland's and West- me. We did not know the brook's near the vile and dirty code-Carrier oompanies were village of Montenescourt, where often forgotten-but we interBrigade Headquarters had been preted the message that we during the Arras battle; and were now in G.H.Q. Reserve Ritchie's in the famous Winni. and should be ready to entrain peg Camp. We were all con- at twenty-four hours' notice. tented, and during the daylight The order might mean anysafe, but at night we soon thing or nothing. I suspected

I learnt that in the past few a move to the neighbourhood months the enemy had dig. of Amiens, where two successoovered how to bomb. We ful little tank actions had were kept awake.

already taken place, and sent Our one trouble was the M.Bean, my reconnaissance Mk. IV. tanks, which for our officer, to make a corner in sins we had inherited. Some Amiens maps. We returned of them looked clean: some of to our repairs with desperate them looked dirty. All of vigour and waited in excitethem required thorough over- ment for further orders. hauling and repair, and we After mess on the 30th I worked upon them day and summoned urgently to night in oase Prince Rupprecht Brigade Headquarters and inshould take it into his head struoted verbally over a glass

a to attaok,

of excellent port to entrain at Wo soon decided to concen. Acq early on the 18t. The trate the company in the centre utmost secrecy was to be obof the area, and the staff- served. The entrainment was oaptain of the brigade and to be considered as a practice myself went exploring to find entrainment. With my doubta suitable site for the camp. ful tanks no time was to be The Bois de la Haie pleased lost. Mao plunged into the

It was bombed, but so night with orders for Ryan, were all woods, and this par- who was ten miles from railticular wood was not too oon- head, while my despateh-riders spionous. We

called two bustled off to Ritobie, Harsappers into oonsultation and land, and Westbrook. I was planned a oamp complete with more than doubtfal whether all the most modern improve the tanks under repair would ments, down to the very latest be ready. thing in grease - traps. We Mao reached Ryan in the began to say farewell to our early hours of the morning, gentle damsel. But the camp and the section was on the was never built.

move by 6.45 A.M. Muoh hapFor on the 28th, when I pened to the tanks on the had returned from my daily way, but with the exception round and was oalling for tea, of one they made Aoq in the buttered toast, and the cake course of the afternoon, and that had come in the paroel, the laggard arrived during the a oode message was handed to night.

us.

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Ritobie, who was always that we were bound for Pouthorough, covered his tanks lainville, a railhead near Amiens. with branohes, and his moving I looked proudly at our box oopse caused muoh excitement. of maps—the battalions were Westbrook and Harland, who still asking for them days each had a tank in hospital, later. Early on the 1st our 80 inspired their enthusiastic convoy of lorries took the road. crews that by dawn on the At 3 P.M. the first train left 1st every tank was more or Aoq, and at 5 P.M. the second. less able to entrain. We were All the tanks had managed to not helped by the fact that we scramble on board, although were ordered to entrain “fall,” none of my drivers had ever that is, with our tanks orammed before driven a tank on to a with petrol, oil, and ammuni. train: that useful accomplishtion. Sinoe before entraining ment was not taught us at it is necessary to push in the Bovington. I watohed the sponsons until they are flush second train pull out-the men with the sides of the tank, were cheering and left in my the order involved unloading ear for the soene of battle. It the sponsons at railhead, was quite like old times. What pashing them in and then part the Carrier tanks would loading the tanks again. We play in the great offensive I wondered bitterly if there had not the remotest idea : were no

supplies at our I knew only that I was sorry destination,

to leave the milk, the fresh We discovered at railhead eggs, and the batter.

CHAPTER XV.—THE BATTLE OF AMIENS,

(August 1st to August 27th, 1918.)

we

new

The Officers' Club on the hill ander mushroomg. The staff above Doullens has & reputa- work was superb. There were tion, and we could not pass it so many guides that it was without discourtesy. It was a quite two hours before good dinner in its way, and we found our own.

Then we continued our journey in a waited for the train. It was cheerfal, though not hilarious, quite dark, and it began to rain mood, through novel country, heavily. seamed with brand

The first train drew in at trenches and with all oamps 10 P.M.

The tanks displayed and houses heavily sandbagged a more than mulish obstinaoy. against bombs.

Every possible defect devel. At last we came to the rail- oped, and we found it difficult head at Poulainville, discreetly to reach the engines and effect hidden under the trees at the the proper repairs on account side of the main road. Tanks of the supplies which we had were drawn up under any sorap on board. My drivers, too, of cover-like frogs sheltering were inexperienoed. For two

the ramp

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and a half hours we struggled, 17th (Armoured Car) Batooaxed, and swore in the utter talions. The Brigade was darkness (no lights were concentrated behind the allowed) and the driving rain, Australian Corps, and preparabefore the tanks were clear of tions were already far advanced

for a sudden heavy attack. We hoped feveriehly that we How far the attack would should have better fortune with extend north and south of the the second train, which arrived Somme we did not know, but at 3 A.M. .. Dawn was we had heard that the Cana. breaking, when a wearied dians were gathering on the R.T.O. told me with ioy polite. right of the Australians, and ness that if my tank-the last on our way we had passed their -Was not off the train in ten artillery on the road. All the minutes, the train would pull woods were choked with tanks, out with the tank on board. troops, and guns. The roads The tank heard the remark. at night were blocked with She had resisted our advances thick traffic. By day the roads for many, many hours, but now were empty, the railheads free she “started up” as though

as though our "back ares” as quiet in perfeot tune, and glided as the front of the XIth Corps away down the ramp in the in the summer of '16. best of spirits.

We were soon caught up in We threw ourselves into the the complicated machinery of car, limp and soaked. During preparation. I attended Brithe night the enemy had been gade conferences without shelling Amiens, four miles number. Ritchie's section, to from our railhead, with slow my sorrow, was transferred, deliberation-vast explosions temporarily, to the 3rd Carrier re-echoing among the wretoked Company (Roffey's), by way of houses. We drove through the simplification, and I received in suburbs of the city, silent as & exchange a section of the 5th Sunday morning in London. Carrier Company, equipped Every third house along our with sledges drawn by deorepit road had been hit by shell or tanks, which straggled into bomb. Then we turned towards the wood on the evening of Albert, and four miles out oame the 6th. The sledges were so to Querrieu Wood, where we badly designed that the cables discovered Company Head- by which they were towed quarters, unshaven and be- were always fraying and break. draggled, sleeping in the mud ing. I refused to be responsible among the baggage. Only our for them, and began to colleot oook, humming a cheerful little in their place a job lot of tune, was trying nobly to fry baggage and supply tanks. some bacon over a fire of damp My sections had no time to stioks.

make themselves comfortable We had become a unit of the in Querrieu Wood. On the 3rd, 5th Tank Brigade, which oon- Ritohie, with his six tanks, left sisted of the 2nd, 8th, 13th, and me for Roffey and the Cana

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dians. On the night of the atmosphere I could only just 4th Ryan crossed the Somme hear the uneven rumble of the and camouflaged among the guns. It was so cold that I ruins of Aubigny, moving to went in to breakfast. an orchard in Hamelet, not two Half an hour after miles behind the line; on the my tank engineer and I set 6th Harland reached Fouilloy, out in my oar to oatoh up with the next village, on the same the battle, giving a lift on the night; while Westbrook, on

a pleasant young the previous night, bad joined subaltern in the R.H.A. rothe 8th Battalion in a small turning from leave, who was wood near Daours. The major- desperately eager

to find ity of our tanks were still giving his battery. We left the trouble, for they were ancient oar stupidly at Fouilloy, we overloaded Mark IV.'s.

might have taken it fartber The attack

to be forward, — and tramping ap launched at dawn on the 8th. the Villers - Brettoneux road, After mess on the 7th I started out aoross country, among infrom the wood with two old visible guns, through the mist, tanks, which had just ar- whioh did not olear until we rived, in a wild endeavour to reached what had been the rash them forward in time. German trenches. It was dreary and profitless Apparently we had repeated work, Mao managed to reach Cambrai. Companies of prithe fringe of the battle before soners, stout-looking fellows, the tank, which he was leading, were marobing baok in foors, finally broke down, while at Here and there lay German three in the morning I lost dead the rough coarse patience with mine and, leaving grass, or in the shallow unit to its commander, returned conneoted trenohes. А few to oamp:

hundred yards to our right The night was fine, though was the Roman road that runs misty. We waited nervously west from Villers-Brettoneux, for some indioation that the Light armoured oars of the enemy knew of the numberless 17th Battalion were pioking tanks moving forward softly, their way through the shellthe thousands of guns which holes. had never yet spoken, the Jast short of a large ruined Canadian Divisions hastening village, Warfusée - Abanoourt, to the attaok. But the night straggling along the road, and passed quietly. There two miles from our old front only one brief flarry of gan-fire, line, we found a little group of when the irrepressible Austra- supply tanks with a couple of lians raided to discover if the waggons. Onewaggon suddenly enemy suspeoted.

had exploded on the trek forAt "zero" I was standing ward. "Nobody had heard the outside my tent. There was noise of an approaching sbell, thiek mist in the valley. and we suspeoted a trip-mine, Through some freak of the with which the battlefield was VOL. CCVII.-NO. MCCLI.

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