The Western Front

The Life and Death of a British Officer

Captain Oswald Eric Wreford Brown

Page 44 - Holding on

Our battalion held on to the line while another Brigade made preparations to take the trenches which had been lost. We were relieved in the night of 1st and early in the morning of the 2nd the trenches were taken. We are holding on tight in spite of severe counters by the Huns. It is hard fighting. We have been in rest one night, but go out again tonight close to the front line.  

MARCH 1916

Page 45 - Very fit

I am very fit. Thanks for parcel just arrived, have no time to open it yet.

Page 46 - Page 47 - Page 48 - Page 49 - Updates

We arrived at P ___________ on Saturday and from there marched to R_________t where we took over a camp, pretty fair one. Next day I went up to look over the trenches we were to take over and on Monday we were all in safely - the next few days were very quiet

Page 50 - Relieved

On March 1st we were relieved by two Battalions, this part held by my own little Co. of Newcastle Clerks, the average age of my men is not more than 23 !

Page 51 - Page 52 - Valuable lives have been lost

My view is that this little episode is most important, the original loss of the trench may have been all for the best, though many valuable lives have been lost.


Page 53 -  Out of the trenches

We came out from trenches all safe last night. We had a very quiet time from Germans, but the weather was bad and extremely hard on the men. We had snow and bad frosts, the trenches were wet, which made it bad for the feet.

Page 54 - A most strenuous time

We had a most strenuous time up near I ... Canal. The Hun took some trenches from us and after some very heavy preliminary artillery we took them back again. My Company was in the trenches between these two periods and the shelling during that time was decidedly unpleasant. I am glad to say we came off very well indeed. I only lost 1 man killed.