A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 240

The home of the Lonsdale Battalion 1914-1918
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Not Proofread. The contents of this page needs to be proofread. Currently, there are multiple typos / OCR errors that require attention.

ing to the middle of the field, I stopped to rest, and heard voices,butnotloudlyenoughtodistinguishthelanguage. So I took my cap off, and, raising it on a couple of turnip stalks, shouted, Hallo, West Kent ! ” That only brought more shots. I crawled on, with rest, for about two hours, with shrapnel bursting about me and bullets whizzing over. Several times, ! when a lull came, I called out, “ Halto, West Kent " but the result was always the same—more bullets. Finally, I decided to crawl for the British big guns I could hear. I was going along gingerly, on hands and knees, when I got hit on the right arm. The bullet scooped a bit of flesh out, and severed the muscle,butitfeltsimplylikeaburn. Allthesame,Icrawled on. I didn’t want to De swamped in the advancing tide of Germans. I wenj: on like that through field after field for, I shouldthink,abouttwomiles. ThenIwasthankfultocome across the '‘Jocks”—the King’s Own Scottish Borderers—who were beginning to retire. I walked on, just in front of the “Jocks,” till, at a place® where the road dipped, I found the artillery horses and gun-limbers sheltering under a farmhouse wall. A driver gave me a long drink out of his bottle, and helped me to cut my sleeve open to put the fleld-dressing on the wound. Then he gave me a smoke, and let me take a seat on the gun-carriage while he walked. The road was choked with motor-lorries, transport wagons, and the like. At^ last we came up with a “ bun” wagon (Red Cross) and I got in. How a detachment of Scottish troops were surrounded in the darkness by Germans is realistically described by another who tookpartinthisraemoraljlebattle. Herelateshow’theGordons were in action all day on Sunday, August 23, at Mens, on Mon- day retiring to a new position, marching all day. On Tuesday they were in action again, and suffered considerably through the enfilading fire of German machine-guns, mounted on motor-cars, whichcaughttheminthetrenches. Ateleveno’clockthatnight the word was passed along to retire. They rose quietly and slipped away, warning other trenches as they went. Before starting they were told that they had a long march, and had to get rid of all the weight they could. Mostofus,hesays,leftourpacksinthetrenches. About one or two o'clock in the morning, as we were marching down a narrow road, taking the sides in order to go as quietly as possible, we were fired on from a field on the left. The word passed that it was a French piquet;. We thought we were retiring on the French lines. Our colonel ordered us to line the barbed wire fence in the field on the right-hand of the road, and went alone into the left, calling out, ” Les Anglais—Ics

← 239   ·   240   ·   241 →
(page index)