The central text of this paper has been transcribed directly from the handwritten, unpublished ‘Abstract of Notes' by Tannatt William Edgeworth David (1858–1934), an Australian geologist of great distinction, from which he lectured at the Geological Society of London on 26 February 1919. He was then en route home to Australia after serving on the Western Front, across parts of Belgium and northern France, in the First World War—as the senior of two geologists at General Headquarters, British Expeditionary Force. His text provides the first overall account of military applications of geology on a battlefield by any geologist to serve as such in action with British troops. An introduction, illustrations, references, footnotes and concluding discussion have been added by E. P. F. Rose to amplify (and slightly amend) David's hastily-compiled personal record.

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