bag of nine Germans in one tour of duty, and casualties from this source rapidly diminished and soon became merely sporadic.
On the 6th of January, the first night that the Regiment had occupied the first-line trenches, the Patricias suffered a serious loss through misadventure. Captain Denzil Winslow Cochrane Newton, in command of No. 1 Company, while patrolling the trenches on a boisterous, pitch-dark night to familiarize himself with the lie of the land and to assure himself of the safety of his command, unaware of the fact that the trench lines were not continuous but lay in partial echelon, cleared the end of one trench in the dark and walked out unwittingly in front of another. He was challenged in the darkness, but his reply was unintelligible to the sentry on duty and he was shot. This untoward occurrence cast a gloom over the regiment and may have been taken as an omen of even more serious losses to follow.
The weeks that followed were dreary and monotonous; both armies clung to their positions in the mud. Germany was seriously occupied in the East on the Masurian marshes with the Russians; Britain was busily engaged in manufacturing an army from civilians, and "Kitchener's First Hundred Thousand" were rapidly learning the art of war. During January and February of 1915, the regiment took its turn with the others of the Division in the routine of firing-line, support, Brigade Reserve and Divisional Reserve, which latter was euphemistically known as "rest" and was carried out, as a rule, in the neighbourhood of Westoutre and Reninghelst. Regimental Headquarters were in the support line at St. Eloi, where the C.O. and Staff found quarters in the brasserie. Brigade Reserve was located in Dickebusch, where lean-to huts had hurriedly been run up to supplement the scarcity of actual billets in the village itself.
The general plan was that during a tour of duty two days would be spent in the front line, two in dugouts in support, two in Brigade Reserve, a further period of