Night: 10 June 1917

Great Western Railway.  So many new sights and impressions.  Got ashore 6 p.m. given 1½ hours leave to look around for a meal.  W. and I and another went to a hotel where we had to pay 2/6 for 2 ounces of meat, 2 of bread and a little pie.  Food must be scarce.  At about 8 we were aboard the train and on our way.  Nothing can describe the rich beauty of the country – the wonderful green of grass, hedges and trees all in full foliage – the peaceful hamlets and old stone-built towns, towers, churches and mossy farm houses – All the country a patchwork of little fields of a few acres each, with their sheep and cows and encircling hedgerows – lanes, some of them sunken deep beneath the fields, and winding grassy-banked rivers, gleaming in the twilight.  We passed through Newton-Abbot and then onto Teignmouth where we met the sea again – a most picturesque place, then Exeter.  It is now almost dark being 20 minutes to 10 actual time but an hour later by the clock.  The towns and villages are all so clearly defined – they begin and end, not straggling about like ours.  As far as we know we (artillery) go to Chadderton Camp near Manchester.  What the glory of these woods must be in Autumn it is almost impossible to imagine.  I am beginning to understand how England produced Shakespeare, Milton, Keats and the wealth of English poetry.

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