The Project Gutenberg EBook of Bullets & Billets, by Bruce Bairnsfather

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Title: Bullets & Billets

Author: Bruce Bairnsfather

Release Date: February 23, 2004 [EBook #11232]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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Bullets & Billets

 

By Bruce Bairnsfather

 

1916

 

 

TO MY OLD PALS,
"BILL," "BERT," AND "ALF,"
WHO HAVE SAT IN THE MUD WITH ME

 

 

frontispiece

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
  Landing at Havre—Tortoni's—Follow the tram lines—Orders
  for the Front.
CHAPTER II
  Tortuous travelling—Clippers and tablets—Dumped at a
  siding—I join my Battalion.
CHAPTER III
  Those Plugstreet trenches—Mud and rain—Flooded out—A
  hopeless dawn.
CHAPTER IV
  More mud—Rain and bullets—A bit of cake—"Wind up"—Night
  rounds.
CHAPTER V
  My man Friday—"Chuck us the biscuits"—Relieved—Billets.
CHAPTER VI
  The Transport Farm—Fleeced by the Flemish—Riding—Nearing
  Christmas.
CHAPTER VII
  A projected attack—-Digging a sap—An 'ell of a night—The
  attack—Puncturing Prussians.
CHAPTER VIII
  Christmas Eve—A lull in hate—Briton cum Boche.
CHAPTER IX
  Souvenirs—A ride to Nieppe—Tea at H.Q.—Trenches once more.
CHAPTER X
  My partial escape from the mud—The deserted village—My
  "cottage."
CHAPTER XI
  Stocktaking—Fortifying—Nebulous Fragments.
CHAPTER XII
  A brain wave—Making a "funk hole"—Plugstreet Wood—Sniping.
CHAPTER XIII
  Robinson Crusoe—That turbulent table.
CHAPTER XIV
  The Amphibians—Fed-up, but determined—The gun parapet.
CHAPTER XV
  Arrival of the "Johnsons"—"Where did that one go?"—The
  First Fragment dispatched—The exodus—Where?
CHAPTER XVI
  New trenches—The night inspection—Letter from the
  Bystander.
CHAPTER XVII
  Wulverghem—The Douve—Corduroy boards—Back at our farm.
CHAPTER XVIII
  The painter and decorator—Fragments forming—Night on the
  mud prairie.
CHAPTER XIX
  Visions of leave—Dick Turpin—Leave!
CHAPTER XX
  That Leave train—My old pal—London and home—The call of
  the wild.
CHAPTER XXI
  Back from leave—That "blinkin' moon"—Johnson 'oles—Tommy
  and "frightfulness"—Exploring expedition.
CHAPTER XXII
  A daylight stalk—The disused trench—"Did they see me?"—A
  good sniping position.
CHAPTER XXIII
  Our moated farm—Wulverghem—The Cur�'s house—A shattered
  Church—More "heavies"—A farm on fire.
CHAPTER XXIV
  That ration fatigue—Sketches in request—Bailleul—Baths and
  lunatics—How to conduct a war.
CHAPTER XXV
  Getting stale—Longing for change—We leave the Douve—On the
  march—Spotted fever—Ten days' rest.
CHAPTER XXVI
  A pleasant change—Suzette, Berthe and Marthe—"La jeune
  fille farouche"—Andr�.
CHAPTER XXVII
  Getting fit—Caricaturing the Cur�—"Dirty work ahead"—A
  projected attack—Unlooked-for orders.
CHAPTER XXVIII
  We march for Ypres—Halt at Locre—A bleak camp and meagre
  fare—Signs of battle—First view of Ypres.
CHAPTER XXIX
  Getting nearer—A lugubrious party—Still nearer—Blazing
  Ypres—Orders for attack.
CHAPTER XXX
  Rain and mud—A trying march—In the thick of it—A wounded
  officer—Heavy shelling—I get my "quietus!"
CHAPTER XXXI
  Slowly recovering—Field hospital—Ambulance train—Back in
  England.

 

 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Bruce Bairnsfather: a 
photograph
"Bruce Bairnsfather: a photograph"

The Birth of 'Fragments': 
Scribbles on the farmhouse walls
"The Birth of "Fragments": Scribbles on the farmhouse walls"

That Astronomical Annoyance, the
 Star Shell
That Astronomical Annoyance, the Star Shell, Which Momentarily Enables You to Scrutinize the Kind of Mud You Are In

Plugstreet Wood
An Impression of the Famous Bois de Ploegsteet

A Hopeless Dawn
"A Hopeless Dawn: Rain, Mud, Damp Coke, and Dug-Out Off Down Stream"

The usual line in Billeting 
Farms
"The usual line in Billeting Farms: A Three-Sided Red-Tiled Building, With a Rectangular Smell in the Middle"

Chuck us the biscuits, Bill. The
 fire wants mendin'
"Chuck us the biscuits, Bill. The fire wants mendin'"