Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/43

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The War and the Future

for the stumps of blasted woods and the cellars of obliterated farms.

We got the second of the 8 impregnable forts on the fourth day, the third on the seventeenth day, the fourth and fifth on the seventy-sixth day, the sixth and strongest on the one hundred and twenty-eighth day, and the last two at the end.

I cannot tell you how bitter and bloody the fighting in that battle was. The fight for Delville Wood lasted for nearly two months, and in those two months, 400 shells fell every minute on Delville Wood, and not less than 300,000 men were killed and wounded there. That wood during the battle was a scene of death, bloodshed and smash such as cannot be imagined. You walked in the mud on the bones and the flesh of men and on fresh blood dripping out of stretchers. By the side of the track was a poor starved cat eating the brain of a man.

In High Wood they fought till the rags and bones of dead men hung from the wrecks of the trees. In Pozières, men lived for days and nights under a never ceasing barrage designed to blow them off the ridge which they had won. They were buried and unburied and reburied by