13 December 1914

Extract from the diary of Lt Charles Brockbank, 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

charles brockbank

We were relieved today & had to march back to “Au deux Nations”, I was in charge of the Coy, & some job it was too, we were all dead-tired, fighting against sleeping & feeling the reaction of the nervous tension. We had to keep stopping to allow stragglers to catch up, then found half the men were asleep. By the time I arrived home I was all-in and hardly able to realise where I was. When I got into the billet I just slumped onto the floor with my kit still on & went to sleep. They woke me in about ten minutes to have some food, real nice hot soup, but I was so tired I could hardly keep awake to finish it. Felt much better after it and went up into the attic climbed into my valise & went to sleep. There were five of us in the one room and I woke late in the night, imagined I was still in the trenches, found Cooke was asleep so woke him & told him “they are asleep down on the left”. He was under the same misapprehension as I was so woke Alexander. In the end all five of us were awake, not realising we were in the billet. I was not popular when someone realised what fools we were, but all had to laugh at the idea of us doing such a thing.

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