May 13, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Marched 17 miles yesterday. Missed supper, breakfast + dinner.
Billeted in a nice little French village. Policed lots of wine. Corp. Paden + I policed cognac and champagne.
Sleep in a barn. Met a French widow. Will be true to my Elinore.
Only one meal today.”
I think Robert was billeted in or near Monchaux-Soreng, based on some of the information in future entries.
Chaplain Edwards, From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry:
Two days later, May 13th, we detrained at Eu, and marched about ten miles to Gamaches where Regimental Headquarters was established. Monchaux, Longroy, Guerville and Chateau le Hays were also used for billeting the regiment.
The Division established headquarters in Eu. Whichever way you pronounce it is wrong. It contains the church of St. Laurent, a beautiful example of 12th century architecture. This is not a cathedral, but to the doughboys every large church was a cathedral.
We were with the British for training purposes, and in case of need. At that time it looked as though we might really be needed. The guns could be heard, and at night the explosion of the bombs dropped on Abbeville. But we were in Normandy— Normandy in apple blossom time. The country was beautiful. A charming little river, the Bresle ran through Gamaches and on through Eu. Hills and valleys, fields and slopes were green with Springtime, while here and there a field of poppies would lend glowing color to the scene. Near the town was an old chateau where the second battalion was billeted. Surrounding the chateau was a pine forest, some of whose magnificent trees must have been over a century old.