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greatwarlifebehindweatherburn

Transcript

“I think it was three times we contacted Estaires in France near Merville, between Estaires and Merville and in the end we got all closet round a terraced block of houses and we couldn't move because Jerry had his machine guns posted on both ends. We only had one officer left there, he was a young subaltern. He tried to get a gang to go to demolish these two machine guns that was keeping us hemmed on this building, on this terraced house. He detailed the men and I was one of the ten from the left hand packet and the other ten men went the other way. I was a Mills bomber and I carried a Mills bomb with me. We advanced onto this post gradually and we lost about four or five. Out of ten, there were four left then we advanced to this post. Suddenly it ceased and I thought to myself, oh yes. I took this bomb and threw it over this post and thought it had really done them all right. I got up and advanced a few yards and all of a sudden he opened out his gun again and he caught my legs and that was the end of me. I was wounded, compound fracture in the legs. Well one was a wound, a flesh wound but the right was a compound fracture. I crawled to a shell hole and I got in this shell hole. I had to dress my own wound, stop the blood. I lay there, I don't know for how long because I seemed to be, losing consciousness and then recovering again. And then rolling over. In the end it might have been two days. The thing was, I had been there for two days and some boys, some German boys gathering up the dead and burying them and taking in the wounded. And they came to me in this shell hole and I couldn't understand a word they said, being as they spoke German. I couldn't speak German. They slipped a tarpaulin cloth under my legs to lift me up and as soon as they lifted me up the blood started running again from the wound. They managed to control it, they put a tourniquet on and took me on a farmer's buggy wagon. What a ride. They put me down into an old farmhouse. We had a doctor operating on as best as he could. Temporarily. And then they took us to a place in Belgium called Liers [possibly Lens]. I think it's where they do these miracles. We was on the cathedral floor for four or five days. Of course we had the interrogating officers come along, asking us how many fields on the front. We said nothing. You never give any information at all. They ask you all sorts of questions like “what regiment was on your right and what was on your left” I just said I didn't know, I didn't know and he says “you don't know nothing do you” and I says no. He got fed up with asking at the end and he moved on you see. He was going all around the floor to see what information he could get. He wanted to know what he was up against you see. From there we went on to cattle trucks and we were four days in cattle trucks going through and allowing his troop movements and that. We were sometimes in a siding for four or five hours.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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