“Message: ‘German attack east of St. Eloi. PPCLI relief postponed.’ … That extra sentence seemed a lot to men who had not slept for five days and there was some cursing in the darkness. Colonel Farquhar, following his usual custom of considering the front line as healthy as a village lane, appeared at the back of the trench.
‘And how is the merry band of sportsmen?’, he remarked cheerfully. No one had heard or noticed his approach, but the replies were ready enough.
‘Going strong, sir’ ‐ ‘Good for another week’ ‐ ‘Enjoying ourselves, sir.‘
The colonel chuckled and departed while the men looked at each other and wondered why they had answered that way. But really there was no other.”
Jeffery Williams. (1995) First in the Field; Gault of the Patricias. London: Pen and Sword.