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Arena

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Transcript

“It was at Neuve Chapelle I was down mining in chalk you know, and I got.... there was four of us in the party. I got three boys who'd never been up before, and I was down a good depth on the steps. I was making the steps to go down a bit further and I thought to myself, what am I going to do with these boys. I can't send them down to the face. So I thought I'll go down myself and give them jobs to do. You see, you're down there, another one half way up and you pick up a shovel fill a sandbag, hand it up to the next one. He hands it up to the fellow up top you see. The Sargent came along. “Where's Salmon?” He called me up and I wouldn't come up. So “Harry” I says “right, what do you want?” “I want you to come up”. He says “How long you been down?” I says “about an hour”. Well you're only allowed about twenty minutes and then you step back twenty minutes and get out in the fresh air. So an officer came and he called me and says “come up this time” So of course I had to come up. He said “how long have you been down there?” and I said “an hour” “You're only allowed down there twenty minutes”. You've got three boys, rookies they called them. Never been down in the trenches before. What am I going to do with them? Push them down the front. They don't know what they're doing. “Harry, here's a pick and shovel” So we got on all right. I got a cigarette case and we had a smoke together. Harry could hear some shelling, heavier during the day. What we called one was a cold box? One was HT. All iron stuff when they explode. And I says to him, “by Jove they're getting nearer aren't they?” He says “yeah, I think they are”. And I was on my tiptoes and bang I was down in a hole full of smoke.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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