John Duesbery (Sherwood Foresters) killed on Somme, item 107

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Page 2 of 5

behind the lines. The men had now said goodbye to all their packs and unnecessaries

and were 3carrying light2. Just as we were preparing to have lunch the Bosch started dropping a few pretty near us, so everyone had to scatter for the trenches, which were on every side. We came across a huge mine crater while this was going on. Everything soon settled down and we had lunch, though it rained most of the time & we had no coats.

After lunch we had the whole afternoon to look round in; we went in all the old German trenches & found various things, which greatly interested. As dusk came on we were

fallen in and after a very fine speech by Col Hobbs, who referred to the old prestige of the Regiment etc, we marched on again after a hearty cheer. After two hours, during which

we had various stoppages, marching through Montauban, Trones Wood and Bernafay Wood we reached Arrow Head Copse. When we went through Montauban, one thing struck me; the only thing left unharmed was the cross with Christ on it. On reaching

Arrow Head Copse, which lay between Ginchy & Guillemont, we were told to take up a

line of, what were called, trenches: but they were so battered in as to be hardly recognized. Very soon after entering a familiar smell greeted my nose and, having located it, I had the two men buried: however the stench was still very bad. That night was spent

in longing for the dawn. It was pretty cold at night now, especially as we had no coats: we had to keep moving the whole time.


Sept 12th Arrow-Head Copse Guillemont

When dawn arrived, we looked upon a miserable sight. On every side were bodies, both German and English; rifles, ammunition and equipment lay piled up every-where. Algy

and I found a good sized shell hole just

behind the trenches, where we got a waterproof sheet rigged up & where we were fairly comfortable. After a small breakfast Algy & I had a look round; we were behind the main crest, so we could go out in the open as much as we liked. We soon came across signs of the difficulty of the capture of Guillemont. We came across hundreds of bodies; wherever you walked, you came across them; in the so called trenches they were lying one on top of the other. Algy & I looked for souvenirs: but we soon gave that up as we got sick of smoking & sick of the sight. Most of that day was spent in making our habitation into a trench; while in this operation, we came across a dead body, lying deep down in the trench. The mess was neither decent, as the smell pervaded everything and the food seemed beastly. In the afternoon the Bosch put up a small artillery barrage, just in front of us and we watched two mules & an ammunition cart, trying to get clear of it. That

evening our first officer went down to the Base with shell-shock. About 9 p.m. we got

some welcome news. There was a small quadrilateral which the enemy was supposed to be holding onto in small numbers. He had been without food for a week & only wanted clearing out. This sounded as if we might have a nice little scrap. Two companies were to do the attack. 3C2 Coy and 3B2 Coy were chosen. We only had to move off at 2 a.m, so Algy & I tried to sleep; but there was nothing doing that night partly owing to the cold & partly to the excitement. At any rate everyone was very bucked with life.

12/01 /2006

Transcription saved

Page 2 of 5

behind the lines. The men had now said goodbye to all their packs and unnecessaries

and were 3carrying light2. Just as we were preparing to have lunch the Bosch started dropping a few pretty near us, so everyone had to scatter for the trenches, which were on every side. We came across a huge mine crater while this was going on. Everything soon settled down and we had lunch, though it rained most of the time & we had no coats.

After lunch we had the whole afternoon to look round in; we went in all the old German trenches & found various things, which greatly interested. As dusk came on we were

fallen in and after a very fine speech by Col Hobbs, who referred to the old prestige of the Regiment etc, we marched on again after a hearty cheer. After two hours, during which

we had various stoppages, marching through Montauban, Trones Wood and Bernafay Wood we reached Arrow Head Copse. When we went through Montauban, one thing struck me; the only thing left unharmed was the cross with Christ on it. On reaching

Arrow Head Copse, which lay between Ginchy & Guillemont, we were told to take up a

line of, what were called, trenches: but they were so battered in as to be hardly recognized. Very soon after entering a familiar smell greeted my nose and, having located it, I had the two men buried: however the stench was still very bad. That night was spent

in longing for the dawn. It was pretty cold at night now, especially as we had no coats: we had to keep moving the whole time.


Sept 12th Arrow-Head Copse Guillemont

When dawn arrived, we looked upon a miserable sight. On every side were bodies, both German and English; rifles, ammunition and equipment lay piled up every-where. Algy

and I found a good sized shell hole just

behind the trenches, where we got a waterproof sheet rigged up & where we were fairly comfortable. After a small breakfast Algy & I had a look round; we were behind the main crest, so we could go out in the open as much as we liked. We soon came across signs of the difficulty of the capture of Guillemont. We came across hundreds of bodies; wherever you walked, you came across them; in the so called trenches they were lying one on top of the other. Algy & I looked for souvenirs: but we soon gave that up as we got sick of smoking & sick of the sight. Most of that day was spent in making our habitation into a trench; while in this operation, we came across a dead body, lying deep down in the trench. The mess was neither decent, as the smell pervaded everything and the food seemed beastly. In the afternoon the Bosch put up a small artillery barrage, just in front of us and we watched two mules & an ammunition cart, trying to get clear of it. That

evening our first officer went down to the Base with shell-shock. About 9 p.m. we got

some welcome news. There was a small quadrilateral which the enemy was supposed to be holding onto in small numbers. He had been without food for a week & only wanted clearing out. This sounded as if we might have a nice little scrap. Two companies were to do the attack. 3C2 Coy and 3B2 Coy were chosen. We only had to move off at 2 a.m, so Algy & I tried to sleep; but there was nothing doing that night partly owing to the cold & partly to the excitement. At any rate everyone was very bucked with life.

12/01 /2006


Transcription history
  • September 6, 2019 00:33:34 Julia Bourbois

    Page 2 of 5

    behind the lines. The men had now said goodbye to all their packs and unnecessaries

    and were 3carrying light2. Just as we were preparing to have lunch the Bosch started dropping a few pretty near us, so everyone had to scatter for the trenches, which were on every side. We came across a huge mine crater while this was going on. Everything soon settled down and we had lunch, though it rained most of the time & we had no coats.

    After lunch we had the whole afternoon to look round in; we went in all the old German trenches & found various things, which greatly interested. As dusk came on we were

    fallen in and after a very fine speech by Col Hobbs, who referred to the old prestige of the Regiment etc, we marched on again after a hearty cheer. After two hours, during which

    we had various stoppages, marching through Montauban, Trones Wood and Bernafay Wood we reached Arrow Head Copse. When we went through Montauban, one thing struck me; the only thing left unharmed was the cross with Christ on it. On reaching

    Arrow Head Copse, which lay between Ginchy & Guillemont, we were told to take up a

    line of, what were called, trenches: but they were so battered in as to be hardly recognized. Very soon after entering a familiar smell greeted my nose and, having located it, I had the two men buried: however the stench was still very bad. That night was spent

    in longing for the dawn. It was pretty cold at night now, especially as we had no coats: we had to keep moving the whole time.


    Sept 12th Arrow-Head Copse Guillemont

    When dawn arrived, we looked upon a miserable sight. On every side were bodies, both German and English; rifles, ammunition and equipment lay piled up every-where. Algy

    and I found a good sized shell hole just

    behind the trenches, where we got a waterproof sheet rigged up & where we were fairly comfortable. After a small breakfast Algy & I had a look round; we were behind the main crest, so we could go out in the open as much as we liked. We soon came across signs of the difficulty of the capture of Guillemont. We came across hundreds of bodies; wherever you walked, you came across them; in the so called trenches they were lying one on top of the other. Algy & I looked for souvenirs: but we soon gave that up as we got sick of smoking & sick of the sight. Most of that day was spent in making our habitation into a trench; while in this operation, we came across a dead body, lying deep down in the trench. The mess was neither decent, as the smell pervaded everything and the food seemed beastly. In the afternoon the Bosch put up a small artillery barrage, just in front of us and we watched two mules & an ammunition cart, trying to get clear of it. That

    evening our first officer went down to the Base with shell-shock. About 9 p.m. we got

    some welcome news. There was a small quadrilateral which the enemy was supposed to be holding onto in small numbers. He had been without food for a week & only wanted clearing out. This sounded as if we might have a nice little scrap. Two companies were to do the attack. 3C2 Coy and 3B2 Coy were chosen. We only had to move off at 2 a.m, so Algy & I tried to sleep; but there was nothing doing that night partly owing to the cold & partly to the excitement. At any rate everyone was very bucked with life.

    12/01 /2006

  • November 1, 2018 10:09:54 Zafiro Marti

    behind the lines. The men had now said goodbye to all their packs and unnecessaries

    and were Carrying light2. Just as we were preparing to have lunch the Bosch started dropping a few pretty near us, so everyone had to scatter for the trenches, which were on every side. We came across a huge mine crater while this was going on. Everything soon settled down and we had lunch, though it rained most of the time & we had no coats.

    After lunch we had the whole afternoon to look round in; we went in all the old German trenches & found various things, which greatly interested. As dusk came on we were

    fallen in and after a very fine speech by Col Hobbs, who referred to the old prestige of the Regiment etc, we marched on again after a hearty cheer. After two hours, during which

    we had various stoppages, marching through Montauban, Trones Wood and Bernafay Wood we reached Arrow Head Copse. When we went through Montauban, one thing struck me; the only thing left unharmed was the cross with Christ on it. On reaching

    Arrow Head Copse, which lay between Ginchy & Guillemont, we were told to take up a

    line of, what were called, trenches: but they were so battered in as to be hardly recognized. Very soon after entering a familiar smell greeted my nose and, having located it, I had the two men buried: however the stench was still very bad. That night was spent

    in longing for the dawn. It was pretty cold at night now, especially as we had no coats: we had to keep moving the whole time.


    Sept 12th Arrow-Head Copse Guillemont

    When dawn arrived, we looked upon a miserable sight. On every side were bodies, both German and English; rifles, ammunition and equipment lay piled up every-where. Algy

    and I found a good sized shell hole just

    behind the trenches, where we got a waterproof sheet rigged up & where we were fairly comfortable. After a small breakfast Algy & I had a look round; we were behind the main crest, so we could go out in the open as much as we liked. We soon came across signs of the difficulty of the capture of Guillemont. We came across hundreds of bodies; wherever you walked, you came across them; in the so called trenches they were lying one on top of the other. Algy & I looked for souvenirs: but we soon gave that up as we got sick of smoking & sick of the sight. Most of that day was spent in making our habitation into a trench; while in this operation, we came across a dead body, lying deep down in the trench. The mess was neither decent, as the smell pervaded everything and the food seemed beastly. In the afternoon the Bosch put up a small artillery barrage, just in front of us and we watched two mules & an ammunition cart, trying to get clear of it. That

    evening our first officer went down to the Base with shell-shock. About 9 p.m. we got

    some welcome news. There was a small quadrilateral which the enemy was supposed to be holding onto in small numbers. He had been without food for a week & only wanted clearing out. This sounded as if we might have a nice little scrap. Two companies were to do the attack. 3C2 Coy and 3B2 Coy were chosen. We only had to move off at 2 a.m, so Algy & I tried to sleep; but there was nothing doing that night partly owing to the cold & partly to the excitement. At any rate everyone was very bucked with life.

    12/01 /2006


Description

Save description
  • 49.985019||2.755773||

    Carnoy, France

  • 50.013785||2.825361||

    Guillemont, France

  • 44.0221252||1.3529599||

    Montauban, France

  • 50.011576||2.806882||

    Trones Wood, France

  • 50.0118417||2.7932101||

    Bernafay Woods, France

Location(s)
  • Document location Carnoy, France
  • Additional document location Guillemont, France
  • Additional document location Montauban, France
  • Additional document location Trones Wood, France
  • Additional document location Bernafay Woods, France


ID
17050 / 201679
Source
http://europeana1914-1918.eu/...
Contributor
Kenneth Duesbery, great nephew of John
License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


  • English

  • Western Front

  • Artillery
  • Home Front
  • Remembrance
  • Trench Life



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