Antwerp_defences,_1914.jpg
 to the trenches to relieve the marines who were being hard-pressed.  We hurriedly buckle on our gear, and upon joining the Battalion, we all commenced to march off again.  The same thing happened as before, the townspeople followed us nearly within a mile of the trenches, until the noise of the enemy "Jack Johnsons" frightened them away.  As we were marching out,  we saw thousands of poor Belgian peasants, their homes I suppose had been burned down by the ruthless hand of war.  This, I think, hit us far harder than anything else could possibly have done, and I am quite certain that such a scene must convince any man that this state of things should never exist in England, except over our dead bodies.  We halted a
 few moments to recharge our magazines, and prepare to extend in order to make attack.  We marched off again - no "band" now, as the instruments had been left behind in Antwerp, and the men themselves were utilised as a Red Cross band, and arrived at a small town - Lierre I think it was, where, just outside,  on both sides of the river, the battle was going on.    As we were marching through there was a continuous line of automobiles, nearly all flying the Red Cross flag, and with nurses standing upon their footboards urging the drivers forward for all they were worth, so as to  save if possible, their stricken occupants. Poor chaps!   One could not help feeling sorry for them, they were like many of our own, received a few hours later 
  stricken down with these terrible injuries , whilst doing their duty - fighting bravely for their country.  We halted in this town, which was entirely deserted by its inhabitants, and no wonder; t he shells were falling pretty thick and fast,  and the concussion of their explosion had caused most of the windows to fall out.   It was here that I got my glimpse of the passage of a "Jack Johnson". It was like a rainbow of beetling black smoke, as it came from their long-range howitsers.   There were aeroplanes in plenty,  British, French, Belgian, and German, also a couple of airships - a Zeppelin, and a semi-rigged Belgian vessel. These two vessels were "anchored" and taking observations.  One could see a plucky British, Belgian, or French aeroplane, go flying 
 over the German lines sending off the range by letting off their puff of black or white smoke.  This is the means by which range is sent by aircraft , except by airships, and theirs is sent off by "Herzian rays", or wireless telegraphy.   Also one would see them being chased by German "Taubs", but in both daring and manouvering the Germans are thoroughly outclassed.   When we halted, we were at once served out with Belgian entrenching tools, each man receiving one each of these short spades - and very useful they were too.  To our disappointment an order came through that we were to bivouac in the street until the early hours of the morning, when an attempt would be made to reach the trenches 
 under cover of the darkness.   Anyway, tired as they all were, there was precious little sleep for us us, as the noise of the forts on our right, and the bursting shells, was deafening.    I laid down on the wet earth  with the "lads", at about 7 oclock, to try and get some sleep.  The only covering we had was our great coats , which althrough that enjoyable week were the utmost service to us, for we had no other covering.  For my pillow, I had a large tin of "bully-beef" . Somehow amid the noise, I dozed off, and was enjoying as comfortable a sleep as could be got under the circumstances, when I was awakened by my Chief Petty Officer telling me that the "Adjutant" needed my services at once.  I at once saw there was some sport on hand, otherwise he would hardly have sent for me, so picking up 
   
  
 
  
    
  
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    my rifle - my ammunition was already upon me - I went and enquired, what was it he wanted.   After he had explained to me, that he wanted a man who could read a map or chart drawn to scale, of the town wherein we were situated.  Upon assuring himself that my knowledge of "Chartwork" was what he required, he then told me to pick a couple of men I could depend on, gave me a chart of the town and told me to find the house in which were stationed our "headquarters" or "staff-officers".   I returned to where my "gun-section" was quartered, and  picked out two men, smart intelligent youngsters and unmarried -  a good thing in a case like this - and set off.  After about an hour and a half of  dodging, twisting, and turning, to avoid being seen and fired upon by the enemy
 pickets, we arrived at the house required and I reported myself to "headquarters".  The officer commanding the 2nd Brigade instructed me to station my men in the passage, and get a sleep myself. I did this, but had no sooner dozed off, than I was awakened by one of my own men, who informed me that I was wanted immediately.  Upon seeing the "Head" again, I received instructions to the effect that  I had to get back to the "battalions" at all costs, and   inform them that they had to retire at once , upon the second line of trenches.  On the homeward journey I had to reprise the first performance, but succeeded in reaching the "Commandant's" office to deliver my message at 3.15am Wednesday.  At once, "Reveille" sounded, and at 3.45am we proceeded to march to these trenches, where upon 
 upon arriving, we commenced to occupy at once, D. Company first.  It was a cold, foggy morning, with just a touch of frost in the air, and it was about 5.40 am.  The trench "D" Company occupied was on the extreme left. Next came C's trench, very near one of the roads leading from Fort Waelhem.  We at once preceeded to prepare a place of concealment for our "maxims". Our guns-crew were employed doing this, whilst the other  crew were employed filling sand-bags for the "head-cover" of the gun's operators . The troops meanwhile were improving the trenches by placing about 10 inches of "headcover" across the "loop holes".  At about 8am we managed to obtain a sardine-tin of coffee, also some biscuits and "bully-beef". The coffee, the Belgian soldiers brought to us.  At noon, the guns came up, also 6,000 rounds of ammunition.
 Just as we had completed placing them in a position to give the Germans a warm reception, the "Adjutant" came along, and enquired where had we placed the guns. I pointed out their place of concealment which he said were very good indeed, but added that he was very sorry, as we should have to remove and entrench in a place he would show me.  He took me past D Company's trenches, and nearly to the end of A's. There were no trenches to the right of this but a fort instead.  Upon returning to C's trench, we commenced to move the guns to the place that had been pointed out. As soon as we arrived to our prospective position, we commenced to entrench ourselves at once.   All this time the "boom" of the German guns was growing more
 and more distinct, while  one could hear quite plainly the whistle and scream of the projectiles, as they fired into the town of Antwerp over our heads.   At 12.30, a German "Taube" flew over our heads, and shot out his white smoke. She was fired on by British and Belgians, but I think she got safely away, for, when they opened fire with their artillery that evening, they were dropping their "shrapnel" about 20 yards in rear of our trenches.   We worked hard at entrenching our guns, and at about 3.30pm we had the satisfaction of completing.  We then got our dinner, and had just finished planting a very good "kitchen garden" - including a variety of vegetables generally used in the kitchen such as:- Brussel sprouts, turnips, cabbages, etc when the order or 
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