'The ground was covered with discarded tins, some puckered out like cone-shaped weeds, others embedded deep, as if they had been rolled and flattened by something heavy. The older ones were rusted black, but many still had legible labels. Sardine tins, tins of marmalade, a bright yellow label reading Fortnum and Mason, tins of something called Harrison's Pomade. Marden became engrossed with these, began following them as someone follows a trail. The tins, their labels, acted as homely captions to an otherwise unfathomable illustration -- the only thing he had seen so far that made any sense. The first band was more than twenty yards wide, then came a gap where there were hardly any tins, and then suddenly he was up to a new band, tins with German labels, and it wasn't more than sixty yards between the German tins and the British ones.
Tins. But not only tins. There were rags and buttons and chicken bones and soggy canvas buckets and razors and tobacco pouches and pages from pay books and dirty wads of money and pictures of music hall stars and punctured canteens and corrugated iron sheeting and empty cognac bottles and soles off hobnailed boots and shredded haversacks and flypaper and rum jars and cooking dixies and a legless wicker chair and telegraph wire and broken insulators and bits of harness and endless piles of four-by-twos, and in and around all these things, like a kind of dusting, the bright golden casings of machine gun bullets the shape and thickness of stubby pens.
The garbage lay thickest in the deepest furrows, and so it took Marden longer than it should have to understand these had been trenches.'
-- W.D. Wetherell, A Century of November
In memory of the grandfathers, one frostbitten, one shot, both gassed, both survivors; and of great-aunt Jessie, who caught the Spanish flu while nursing soldiers in the City Hospital, Edinburgh, the winter the war ended.
J. McA. 1897-1919
Grandfather Goldsworthy, Curramulka, South Australia, 1915