The Battle Commences:
It is exactly 97 years to the day and almost the hour that William Crowder began the most critical 24 hours of his life.
51st Highland Div. March 1818:
'Rumours were rife and it was reported that the Germans would attack us on the 12th March. However that date passed without anything happening. The next date tipped was 21st and this sounded authentic. The day before I was informed that I was to man the night OP of Gosling in the support trench... a dugout below ground and a sandbagged, camouflaged area above the lookout.
There was very little sleep for me and my telephonists on the night of the 20th March 1918. A catnap or two but we were mainly very much on the 'que vive' and the atmosphere was intense. I think that in a way that although we has no idea what the morrow would bring we relieved that at least something was going to happen.
We talked altogether during the night. I had three delightful boys as telephonists all, of course, Scotsmen. At first when I joined the Division I found it difficult to understand what the men were saying and did not like at all being in the Scottish Div. But when I had been with them a few weeks I would not have changed with anyone.'