Peter & Henrietta
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Corpses in the barbed wire

Continue slowly reading Sir Winston Churchill's account of 1915 during the Great War.  I'm now into his account of the Battle of the Dardanelles.  While that was going on, he was on the Continent and records this startling set of images: 

I passed the day of the 18th [of March] in the French trenches among the sand-dunes of the Belgian coast.  Here the snarling lines which stretched from Switzerland touched the sea, and the barbed wire ran down the beach into salt water.  Corpses entangled in the wire were covered with seaweed and washed by the tides as the mouldered.  Others in groups of ten or twelve lay at the foot of the sandhills blasted in their charge, but with the sense and aspect of attack still eloquent in their attitude and order.  These dead had lain there for months, and the sand gradually gained upon them, softening their outlines.  It was as if Nature was gathering them to herself.  The lines were very close together, and in places only a few yards apart.  A vigilant silence reigned, broken by occasional guns.  The defences in the sand were complicated and novel.  They presented features I had not seen on any other part of the front.  It was fine weather, and I was thankful to keep my mind from dwelling on events that I knew were taking place on the other sea flank of the hostile line.  I returned to England during the night of the 18th in order to receive the account of the action.


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