Thursday, 3 December 2015


 Netley Hospital Chapel

Friday 3rd December 1915: Private C Albone of 1st/5th Bedfords has been sent home sick from Gallipoli and is now in Netley Hospital. He told us: “It’s not a very nice job lying here day and night. You don’t half have something go through your mind of the old times … I did not take much notice when I was in the fighting line. You always had something to pass the time away, if it was only dodging shells”.

It seems that Private Albone has been remembering most often the fight the Battalion got into on 15th August which earned them their nickname of the Yellow Devils. “We came home at four in the morning and were ordered out again. We thought we were off trenching again, but no such luck. As soon as we left camp we were shelled and we had a mile of flat land to advance over and the shells, maxims and rifle fire were terrible. You could see the men dropping in dozens and in scores. It was a sight I shall never forget. After a time the order came ‘Charge’. You should have seen us run fair mad and you should have seen the Turks run but they did not all get away. When we got near them they threw their rifles down and said “Allah” and they got “Allah” too. We took the hill and also another but we had to retire and that was when we lost a lot of men. When they numbered our men up at dark a lot had got mixed with other regiments – me and three Londons had a night all alone, for we got lost. I found the Company next morning and it made Colonel Brighten scratch his head”(1)

Source: Bedfordshire Times 10th December 1915

(1) Looking at this account with the benefit of modern knowledge it looks as if Private Albone was having flashbacks as part of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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