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Blunden's War - Part 16: A day in the mill

Part 16 centres around the Mill on the Ancre River just down from Thiepval. Extracts of the poem indicate that it could have been written under fire. In any case the experience never left Blunden and it was the inspiration for his final war poem 'Ancre Sunshine', written fifty years later. The incident also tells us more about Blunden's relationship with his commander, Colonel Harrison, and demonstrates Blunden's youthful courage under fire.

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Blunden's War - Part 15: Sprinkle me with kisses...

In part 15 of 'Blunden's War', Martin Chown explores the importance of humour in war.

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Blunden's War - Part 14: Minenwerfers: what's really under the white headstones?

In this article we join Blunden during the continuing battle of the Somme when 'the battalion had practicably always been under fire, held trenches for scarcely tolerable periods, and shared three bewildering and devastating attacks.'

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Blunden's War - Part 13: A blackberry at Ocean Villas

It's now later in September and Blunden's battalion march to Auchonvillers ('Ocean Villas'), an intimate village ruin close to the front line.

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Blunden's War - Part 12A: The Ancre Still Flows

It's early September 1917 in Part 12A of 'Blunden's War ' and Blunden's battalion has gone South to the Ancre. In the article Martin Chown thinks about this area now and how much of what Blunden saw and did there lives on.

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Blunden's War - Part 12B: Bombs in buckets and a Spy (3 September 1916)

Part 12B of 'Blunden's War' takes us back to early September in 1917 just before an attack on Beaucourt Ridge. We join Blunden sitting in a trench in Hamel main street. The night air is cold, and the scent of the river mist marks the start of morning.

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Blunden's War - Part 11B: Biscuits, bathing and Boche

Part 11B in Martin Chown's series of short articles tells us of two more lucky escapes for Blunden during his final days in the Festubert.

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Blunden's War - Part 11A: Givenchy - Certainly not a perfume!

Part 11A in Martin Chown's series of short articles remembers Blunden being summoned to have dinner with the high command when they discovered he was a published author.

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Blunden's War - Part 10: Big Game Hunting

Part 10 in Martin Chown's series of short articles tells of the time Blunden met his new Commanding Officer having just returned from a hazardous, daylight trip to the 'Islands'.

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Blunden's War - Part 9: Port Arthur - Skeletons and a Brewery

Part 9 in Martin Chown's series of short articles sees Blunden and his battalion ride a London bus to Bethune, and discover a derelict dugout containing German corpses yellowed by gas.

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