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322   DAYS OF PREPARATION

and called it trench feet. To the victims of this new war disease the suffering was intense, and whale-oil was requisitioned as a prophylactic. It did good no doubt, but many men were disabled by these hard conditions before they can properly be said to have been in action. The enemy positions occupied higher ground, and the drainage of their trenches seeped through into the Canadian lines, which, in some places, were only eighty yards away. No Man's Land was dotted with corpses, some of which had lain there since the deadlock in October, and the presence of these dead bodies would account for the poisonous nature of the disease affecting the feet of men forced to stand for hours in water containing the germs of putrefaction. The discomfort was extreme; dug-outs were of the most elementary description and men slept in an upright position leaning against a sodden wall of clay. That enteric fever was not epidemic and that tetanus was almost unknown among the men fighting in France and Flanders, is conclusive proof of the efficacy of innoculation.

That the countryside swarmed with German spies there cannot be the slightest doubt. In taking over these trenches from the French infantry, Germans would hail the relief force by name. "You are late in getting in to-night, Princess Pats"! would be heard with a Teutonic accent from the opposite lines, and during the day time enquiries were made from time to time as to whether there were any men from Edmonton or Calgary and so on. Sniping was an hourly occurrence, and not only from the front but from the rear. Colonel Farquhar was not long in making arrangements to combat this development of "slimners" on the part of the enemy, and a Snipers' Corps was formed under Lieut. Colquhoun, late of the 91st (Highland) Regiment of Hamilton, Ontario, with Sergt. Mackay, formerly of the Scottish Rifles, as his N.C.O. The dozen men composing the section were picked men and crack shots, and it was not long before they made their presence felt. Two of them netted a


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