We’ve left Querrieu and are marching up in platoons for the front line. We are to go in at Villers-Bretonneux. Today is the 27th April and we know that our 13th and 15th Brigades took the village back from Fritz on the 25th, just two days ago. We’ve been told that Amiens can be seen from Villers-Bretonneux and therefore Fritz will be sure to have a go to retake it, so we expect fireworks when we get into the line.
Near the village now and can see it and several thick woods nearby. We are halted near a crossroad. A large crucifix stands here bearing a life-size metal figure of Christ, all shot about by shrapnel. Within a radius of thirty yards we count eleven dead men of some British regiment and four dead Aussies. These crossroads have been a death-trap. Men have bled and died here. Christians killed by Christians and over their poor bodies, the gigantic cross of Christ! A shrapnel-torn, bullet-marked symbol of the cross upon which Christ died for men. We look at the cross and those fifteen bodies lying so still around it and wonder, thinking queer, half-logical reasonings we can’t well express.