MILES BARNE’S DIARY A Suffolk Countryman at War 1915-1917

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Miles Barne, aged 41, from Sotterley, Suffolk, rejoined the Scots Guards in June 1915. The Diary, begun in July on going to France, recorded his life with the 1st Battalion in the most straightforward, observant and vivid, way. 1916 saw the battalion heavily involved during the Somme offensive at Flers in September,with many casualties . Tanks were used for the first time during this battle and interestingly Miles refers to the two different types ( male + female ) as ‘ cocks ‘ and ‘ hens ‘ . During the battle he temporarily took command of B Company and spent a very muddy winter on the Somme. He included all he saw and heard around him. While his more terrible experiences catch the attention, those elsewhere and away from the fighting hold just as much interest. He died on 17 September 1917, hit by an accidental British bomb, well behind the line.