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The drum-fire of the guns never slackened for hours. At nine o'clock in the morning it beat over the countryside with the same rafale of terror as it had started before four o'clock. Strangely above this hammering and thundering of two thousand guns or more of ours, answered by the enemy's barrage, railway whistles screamed from trains taking up more shells, and always more shells, to the very edge of the fighting-lines, and in between the massed batteries, using them as hard as they could be unloaded. Over at Warneton and Oostaverne, in the valley below the Messines Ridge, the enemy was pouring fire along our line, shells of the heaviest calibre, which burst monstrously, and raised great pillars of white smoke. It was a valley of death there, and our men were in it, and fighting for the slopes beyond. It is a battle, so far, of English, Scottish, and Welsh troops, with some of the Anzacs.