Friday, 17 October 2014

A Scene of Carnage

Saturday 17th October 1914: Private T. Farmer, with 2nd Bedfords, tells us that their division has so far captured fifty Germans together with their horses. Our contact with the 1st Battalion tells us they have returned to their previous position near Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée: “I inspected the ground in front and saw the remains of the Dorsets’ retirement of the 13th October and the Royal Field Artillery Battery”.

“The field was simply littered with dead. I found a gunner, who had gone mad, wandering all over the ground where his Battery had been; he was a most pathetic sight. I picked up, quite close to where one of the guns had been, an officer’s haversack with a compass in it”. [1]

Sources: X550/2/7; X550/3/wd

[1] In 1915 the author was talking about the event to a Captain Rathbone of the Devonshire Regiment and discovered that the compass was his. 

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