A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 238

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MONS AND CHARLEROI


documents supplements in interesting fashion the foregoing accounts of the fighting. A private of the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers, a battalion in the 1st brigade under Sir I. Maxse, gives the following account of the saving of the guns We were sent up to the firing line to try and save a battery. When we got there we found that they were nearly all killed or wounded. Our Irish lads opened Sure on the Germans, and you should have seen them fall. It was like a game of skittles, feut as soon as you knocked them down up came another 1,000 or so. We could not make out where they came from. So, allofasudden,ourofficergaveustheordertocharge. We fixed bayonets, a^d went like fire through them. You should have seen them run! We had two companies of ours there against about 3,000 of theirs, and I tell you it was warm. I was not sorry when night-time came, but that was not all. You see, we had no hon?es to get those guns away, and our chapswouldnotleavethem. Wedraggedthemourselvestoa place of safety. As the firing was at full swing, we had with usanofficeroftheHussars. Ithinkhewasnexttome,andhe had his hand nearly blown off by one of the German shells. So I and two more feuows picked him up and took hiffi to a place of safety, where he got his wound cared for. I heard after- wards that he had been sent home, poor fellow.

Another vivid description of the fighting is given by a lance- corporal of the ist South Wales Borderers, in which he tells how they entered Mens just in the nick of time. A regiment of Uhlans, he says, were attacking the rear of a convoy, and they soon got to work, hundreds of Germans being killed by the fire of the British artillery at close range. They found that the Germans had been looting the dead, and were wearing British khaki, with full equipment. The next day, he proceeds, we were relieved by the Soutli Lancashires, and it was officially reported to us that we had not been relieved more than two hours before the enemy were all shelled to pieces, hardly any escaping, only we were reported to have been cut up instead of them. Alter that we were caughtinadeath-trap. Wegotintoavillageandwewere surrounded by a brigade of Uhlans, but were saved by the timely arrival of the Scots Greys and the Lancers, who put about 1,500 out of action in six hours, charging them througli andthrough. Ofcourse,wewerenotlosingone-sixthofwhat theGermanswere. ButIshallneverforgetit—theGermans camesounexpectedly. Whilstweguardedtherightflankthe Guards, charged the centre square, killing many in tei:^ minutes.

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