Skip to Content

Arena

greatwarexperienceevans

 

Transcript

“You see whistles blew at 7.30am, zero hour. Whistles blew and they said 'go on, over the top, over the top' and of course we got up the short scaling ladders we had and we were met with the most murderous machine gun and rifle fire that could ever have been loosed on anybody. Captain Poyser was wounded, the platoon officer was killed and we didn't get very far and all I could do, I never got far there was no heroics, I didn't jump in the trenches and do a bit of bayonet fighting. I got as close to the German line as I could and hurled my Mills bombs. When I was coming back there was a bombing corporal and I said to him, “look we're being enfiladed from over there why don't you send some of your bombers and bomb them out?” He said “I haven't got any bombers”. Well I said I'm going to take a pot at him. So I stood up to take a pot at him and that was fatal – smack on my right buttock, I put my hand round there like that, it's all bleeding, blood and me backside at that right was all blown away, so I got out me field dressing, put it on me backside, like that, but it was no good I had a wound as big as that. An explosive bullet blew all the flesh away that's what they told me in Dyke Road Hospital when I got back there. So I fell down and then tried to crawl and I couldn't crawl. So I thought to myself there is only one thing I can do if I can crawl I must turn my head towards my trenches, our own trenches, so I know that if I can crawl – am I boring you?”

[Interviewer] “No, Not at all.

“I know that if I can crawl I got to go that way. You see, well, but I stood still and they started sniping us and I threw away me tin hat and I think I had a couple of Mills bombs left … in the German trenches and I thought, then they started sniping and I thought lie still. So lied still, there was my tin hat there and me water bottle was there and by golly in the afternoon I wanted a drink of that water bottle. 'Cos it seems the last thing a man does is to drink his water before he dies, but I still had a lot in my bottle and I thought, no. I won't chance it. The sun was hot, I was thirsty and then when I looked up that way – there is a picture of some there, my son painted that from what he heard, on the radio – I looked and the sun was setting and I thought it must be about 9.30 at night. Then I lost consciousness.”