Report from the Front - The Great War diary of Jack Halstead

PUBLISHED: 11:26 07 September 2007 | UPDATED: 15:14 12 May 2010

# Battery parade inspection by CO Major ­O Connell. The major was an old soldier who had seen plenty of ­service in France before joining us. O Connell made a speech: You are now going to the Ypres Saliet, you are about to take part in the greatest battl

# Battery parade inspection by CO Major ­O'Connell. The major was an old soldier who had seen plenty of ­service in France before joining us. O'Connell made a speech: "You are now going to the Ypres Saliet, you are about to take part in the greatest battle in the war and it will be the final battle.

"The enemy will be pushed over the Pilkem and Passchendale ridges and then we will walk through.

"Gas and continous shelling you will ­experience. By your side will be England's most famous regiments. You will cover the Guards."

Apart from the major's speech we knew full well what was in store for us: sure of the terrors of the salient. But what did it matter, we would not be the only battery there.

- 2 September, 1917.

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