Wednesday, 1st August (1917)

Building gun pit this morning and took part in an expedition of depredation on a neighbouring quarry with a party of old soldiers.  Two of them held the quarry-men in conversation whilst the rest of us walked off with some large pieces of timber to support the roof of the gun-pit.  These returned men are interesting on the war when you get them going.  They say that we have more ammunition than the Germans now and are killing them quicker than they us, but that none of these big pushes could possibly lead to final victory.  Owing to the state of all roads and difficulties of very kind it is quite impossible to follow up any initial success, the attackers being too exhausted in men and material to be able to carry it further than a mile or two.  They say the Hun machine gunners are wonderfully game and fire to the last with one hand up pretending to surrender, and the other on the lever of the gun.  These chaps are unanimous that it will simply be a process of wearing them out.

At Rochdale I heard a young girl, daughter of a Labour M.P., addressing the crowd.  She spoke well and with great fervour, denouncing (inter alia) the working of children in their disgusting factories, they being the capitalists.  I could agree with her.

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