Saturday 5 March 2016

Swarmed with Rats

Sunday 5th March 1916: Sapper Harper from Bolnhurst told us yesterday of a visit he had made to Lieutenant Collisson’s grave at Cérisy-Gailly. He then told us of his other experiences: “I am at present in one of the most advanced positions of the British line and am living in a dug-out twenty feet below the ground level. We are swarmed with rats and have to chase them away in the middle of the night. They have eaten half my great coat. I have often read in English papers that the Germans cannot shoot, but that is a great mistake. I was pulling down some wood for new dug-outs, when a sniper put a bullet into a piece a foot from my head. I hung up my hat for him to shoot at, but he was too sharp for that. Now I must ring off as my candle is short and I must get to sleep before the rats parade”.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard 31st March 1916

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