ROSEHALL MANíS NARROW SQUEAK

I mentioned our casualties before, but the narrow escape of a Coatbridge man may be of special interest. Private F. Keenan, a miner from Rosehall, was struck, whether by a whole shell or a fragment, I don't think anyone will be able to say. It must have been a glancing blow, for it tore the back of his kilt into ribbons, and struck his boots, taking away one of the heels. He lost no blood, but he seemed to be in great pain from the concussion, and was unable to move. We were very glad when night came, as we were very hungry, not having had a meal since the preceding morning, and our emergency rations having been used up previously.

We stayed in that place three weeks, and good trenches were made, with loopholes through the parapet, and undermined here and there to form little caves in which we could shelter. Every night the work proceeded, and trenches were formed about 200 yards in front, with a zig-zag communicating trench to them. Pickets and listening patrols were put out nightly ó and a very cold job it was, too, performing such duties. We

were attacked one night, but it was nothing serious, although we had several casualties; the enemy kept a good distance away. We were shelled daily, and the village was wrecked with large shells nearly 8 inches in diameter at the base. We left there on October 6, our place being taken by French troops, and after three or four night marches, sleeping in farm barns, etc., through the day to conceal our movements from the enemy, we entrained on a Saturday night and had fully 24 hours' travelling to St. Omer. We rested in barracks there all night, moved the next day some 18 miles, and billeted again at night. Off again in the morning, we advanced some distance, passing through a small place called Fletre towards Meteren, where the enemy were located. It was a very dull day, with continual rain. The Germans had very little artillery, though they were well entrenched, and our attack finished with a charge. The enemy, however, made off, and it was too dark to follow them; it was said they had motors waiting. A few prisoners were taken. Our casualties were about 90 officers and men killed and wounded. The next two or three days were passed in advancing 
< Back

Introduction

Next >