GWL 19th May 1915

Well here we are back just a very little bit from our beast of a place.  Very weary in every way and feeling that of all things in the world a week’s leave is what we would like best, but apparently it is not to be.

About 3.30 this morning I was standing on  certain level crossing checking troops as they marched past and behold Clarence Gardner, who says that he has heard that we are to get at least three days leave – so all the world, in spite of a 12 mile ride in a very drizzly drizzle, seemed very gay, but, alas, the divisional General this morning dashed all our hopes to the ground and even suggested that we should be back in our wretched spot in three days.  This after the men have been in trenches continuously since May 4th.  As Mr Eye-witness has had it all in the papers I think there can be no harm in my adding my little bit.  The trouble really started when we came back in the early morning of May 4th.  Otto never found out we had gone until about two ours after it had taken place, but he did not waste much time when he knew.  From then on there was continuous heavy shelling of all our line – though no infantry attack until the 9th.  All the same the Brigade on our left had to come back and we were forced to leave our little home in the chateau one morning in a great hurry, as Otto was looking into the front door about 400 yards away.  So we all packed up and went into a new land, not so comfortable but having the advantage of a more or less undisturbed entrance and exit.  Then on the 9th the fighting began.  My poor regiment had an awful time.  They were putting shells into the trenches at an awful rate and we had to leave a salient piece that was the worst.  The Germans got into the trench before we could get back when the shelling ceased, and then Conner apparently went up to see what was happening and thinking the trench was held by us walked in and has never been seen since.  That is the story as I heard it.  Whether anybody saw him taken away a prisoner I don’t know, but I rather think not.  There is one thing to be thankful for, we killed an awful lot of huns.  The fighting went on for four days and then things gradually got quieter.  I see the 28th had a knock on the same day as we had.  Vicary and I are the only ones left here of the regiment who have never left France or Belgium since we came out five months ago to-day.” 

This is Georges version of the Battle of Frezenburg Ridge [see May 12th].  Apparently Conner was captured according to annotation of letter received by Marion.

{next post 27th May}

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