War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 17 August 1917.
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
17th August 1917
August 17, 1917.
August is now living up to its reputation. It might be April or March.
The team horses are not looking up to the mark. The rain and mud have spoilt their coats, and I have not enough men to groom them properly. The gun-line have too many up there and many are on leave.
The attitude of people in England now is strange. The men come back from leave with impressions they should not have. I have asked several how they enjoyed their leave. A typical answer I get is “Oh! Alright, sir, but everybody is fed up with the war, and grumbling”. Now this is strange. Surely the troops out here are the ones who might be expected to grouse immoderately, and be forgiven. There is no comparison between the conditions. If at times the men here do grumble, there is hardly one who wants to get out of it or finish the war until we have the Boche well beaten. Thank heaven, there is no peace talk out here. I have come to the conclusion that all the men who have got any spirit at all are out here. At home you have now only physical wrecks, politicians and socialists avid for higher wages as munition workers. If you come across any mumblers of peace tell them off on our behalf. Out here we are quite cut off and inarticulate as the war correspondents have no time for the opinions of mere regimental officers or troops.