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In wooded places, and wherever the ground is apt to become swampy in wet weather, the French have laid down behind their lines numerous tracks made of lengths of timber placed transversely, thus forming paths along which men can pass comparatively dry-shod. Similar tracks, it may be remembered, were constructed by the British troops in Ploegsteert (Plug Street) Wood and elsewhere. In the case here illustrated, it will be noticed, the tracks are provided with a hand-rail at one side, doubtless for facilitating
movements at night. The Germans were shelling the valley at the time the photograph was taken, and shells may be seen bursting at the top of the hill. The shattered trees and the numerous shell-craters with which the ground is pitted indicate that it is by no means a ” healthy ” spot to traverse in the open. Yet the two French soldiers seen on the left-hand pathway are proceeding on their mission of duty with as much unconcern as if they were out for a walk in the country in time of peace.
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