8 February 1915

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

charles brockbank

Monday. This morning we were inspected by King Albert of Belguim, who was accompanied by Generals French, Smith Dorrien, Count Gleichan & Ferguson and a lot more who I knew not. Of course it was the whole Brigade & not just our Battn. Some of the old regulars here have nicknamed our crowd “The Fighting Kids” on account of our large numbers of very young fellows, & small men. The deadly feud between the 1st & 6th Cheshires has been started by a Corpl in the 1st Bn. running away from the line, being courtmartialed & shot for cowardice. We were down in rest billet here when it happened, but the 1st Bn. are trying to put the blame on our shoulders because we are “only Territorials”. I can quite see we shall never be able to discredit the tale, & there will be no end of fights between men over the matter. It is a filthy, – lowdown – trick. During the inspection my feet got cold & then the cold got into my thumb as I could not wear glove or bandage. It was terribly painful & I was very thankful when the show was over & I could try to warm it back to life again.

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