10th June (1918)

This chateau appears to have been the home of a General.  Most of the furnishings have been removed, but there are old suits of armour, guns and rapiers, hung in the hall and in this room are a number of huge volumes of etchings of battles, sieges, etc.  In the next room I can see a number of oil paintings, portraits and landscapes and in the centre is suspended a huge glass candelabra.  The walls are plaster, tinted, and the ceilings high and plain.  The building itself is of square blocks of fairly soft light-grey stone.  It is very well lighted with huge casement windows, all provided with shutters.

Explored the grounds of the village church typical of this district and have used my last bit of drawing paper doing a rough sketch of it for your edification.  Contemplated the graves of a number of “soldats”, “morts pour la patrie”, bedecked with tin rosettes of the tricolour.  An old hag of wicked appearance prowls about the grounds, as though looking for the ghosts of her youthful victims, and picks quarrels with all and sundry.

The gentry appear to sport tombs or mausoleums as in other countries and the memorials recede in grandeur down to the proverbial “nameless grave.”  The favourite legends for grave-stones are “de profundis” and “regrets eternelles”, our “R.I.P.” appearing only occasionally.  As in Belgium, iron crosses are very common (not the German article).

In the evening we were entertained by an excellent divisional band.  They played music both classical and frivolous and played it well.  J. joined me and we made another tour of the churchyard, where we ran across an old chap who knew all about it and what with his broken English and our broken French we learnt that the church dated from 1740 and various points of interest concerning the local celebrities.

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