23 March 1916

Last night I forsook the comfort of my downy couch and slept once more in a dug-out.  This was not as you might imagine from any desire for the realities of trench warfare, but because it is now necessary for one member at least of the Bde Hqs to live at night in the advanced “battle” headquarters.  Last night it was the Generals turn to go up there & I went in attendance.  It was a little cold but I slept quite well, except of course for an occasional mouse or two.  One little brute ran straight across my face; I very nearly screamed.   My regiment had a stroke of very bad luck indeed yesterday; poor old Farmer who has never missed an hour since the day we came out was killed by a trench mortar.  Death fortunately was instantaneous.  He is an officer about whom you have probably not heard very much, and yet I think undoubtedly he was the best officer the regiment has ever had.  He was absolutely fearless, & never lost his head in any circumstances. Loved by his men every one of whom he knew intimately, he was also one of the most cheerful members of the mess. I knew him very well & can never remember having seen him either angry or despondent.  He can never be replaced.   Going along one of the trenches today I suddenly came across a very familiar looking countenance, to which I immediately attached the name Walcott.  It was in fact a son of L Walcott & he has just rejoined the Brigade – having been at home sick for some time.  I am sorry you are so unfortunate with your pets, they all seem to come to an untimely end.  We here have a cat, or rather five cats & certainly not less than 200 kittens – they are becoming rather a nuisance.

4 thoughts on “23 March 1916

  1. is this: L/Cpl. Richard Albert Farmer Lane
    8th Leicesters
    3 Feb 1916, All Saints

    He enlisted in Loughborough in 1914 with the 8th Leicesters and in 1915, was promoted to Lance Corporal. He died in February 1916 during training and trench digging activities at Berles-au-Bois when he failed to take cover quickly enough

    Does anyone know? Wrong date and regiment but…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Bill after a bit of research by our tireless volunteer Lilian we believe the person Hills is talking about here is :

    FARMER, Captain, ROLAND DAVENPORT, 5th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment. 22nd March 1916. Age 30. Son of George and Ada Farmer, of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. I.D.12.

    We hope that you find this information interesting.


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