John Duesbery (Sherwood Foresters) killed on Somme, item 108

Edit transcription:
...
Transcription saved
Enhance your transcribing experience by using full-screen mode

Transcription

You have to be logged in to transcribe. Please login or register and click the pencil-button again

                  Page 3 of 5   

Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

them up. I had the second wave under me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we went with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

from our first position, though we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled up and on the left one platoon had gone

on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

The onle officers left whole were Capt March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that

afternoon we had the worst trial. Now we had a terrible time: the artillery barrage of3D2

Coy went right over us and caused many casualties in fact it was lucky anyone was left

alive. But behind the barrage we saw a splendid to the number of 1400. The machine

gun bullets were whistling round us now, but still 3D2 Coy kept on: they went right past

us, looking death straight in the face; they kept on till only two men were left, it was a

splendid charge. Capt Gibbons &2nd Lt Brown were wounded & 2 Lt Hyrons was killed.

Soon after this darkness came on & I got a message back to Hqs, telling of the state of

things. Very soon I was sent for by the C.O. who told me to take the place of 3A2 Coy who

had taken up a support position 100 yards in rear. So I proceeded with forty men, whom I

had collected, to this line. We started digging there hard, so as to get shelter for the next

day. Meanwhile 3B2 Coy had also withdrawn a bit & the wounded were got back. Very

soon my Company (as I was now in command) was joined by my other platoon, which

12/01/2006                                                           

Transcription saved

                  Page 3 of 5   

Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

them up. I had the second wave under me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we went with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

from our first position, though we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled up and on the left one platoon had gone

on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

The onle officers left whole were Capt March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that

afternoon we had the worst trial. Now we had a terrible time: the artillery barrage of3D2

Coy went right over us and caused many casualties in fact it was lucky anyone was left

alive. But behind the barrage we saw a splendid to the number of 1400. The machine

gun bullets were whistling round us now, but still 3D2 Coy kept on: they went right past

us, looking death straight in the face; they kept on till only two men were left, it was a

splendid charge. Capt Gibbons &2nd Lt Brown were wounded & 2 Lt Hyrons was killed.

Soon after this darkness came on & I got a message back to Hqs, telling of the state of

things. Very soon I was sent for by the C.O. who told me to take the place of 3A2 Coy who

had taken up a support position 100 yards in rear. So I proceeded with forty men, whom I

had collected, to this line. We started digging there hard, so as to get shelter for the next

day. Meanwhile 3B2 Coy had also withdrawn a bit & the wounded were got back. Very

soon my Company (as I was now in command) was joined by my other platoon, which

12/01/2006                                                           


Transcription history
  • September 6, 2019 00:44:22 Julia Bourbois

                      Page 3 of 5   

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave under me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we went with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

    from our first position, though we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

    was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

    machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

    objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

    entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled up and on the left one platoon had gone

    on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

    anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

    2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

    perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

    as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

    Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

    there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

    only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

    by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

    The onle officers left whole were Capt March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that

    afternoon we had the worst trial. Now we had a terrible time: the artillery barrage of3D2

    Coy went right over us and caused many casualties in fact it was lucky anyone was left

    alive. But behind the barrage we saw a splendid to the number of 1400. The machine

    gun bullets were whistling round us now, but still 3D2 Coy kept on: they went right past

    us, looking death straight in the face; they kept on till only two men were left, it was a

    splendid charge. Capt Gibbons &2nd Lt Brown were wounded & 2 Lt Hyrons was killed.

    Soon after this darkness came on & I got a message back to Hqs, telling of the state of

    things. Very soon I was sent for by the C.O. who told me to take the place of 3A2 Coy who

    had taken up a support position 100 yards in rear. So I proceeded with forty men, whom I

    had collected, to this line. We started digging there hard, so as to get shelter for the next

    day. Meanwhile 3B2 Coy had also withdrawn a bit & the wounded were got back. Very

    soon my Company (as I was now in command) was joined by my other platoon, which

    12/01/2006                                                           

  • November 1, 2018 09:21:03 Gregoria Evripidou

                      Page 3 of 5   

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave undre me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we webt with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

    from our forst position, through we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

    was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

    machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

    objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

    entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled un and on the left one platoon had gone

    on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

    anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

    2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

    perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

    as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

    Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

    there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

    only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

    by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

    The onle officers left whole were Capr March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that

    afternoon we had the worst trial. Now we had a terrible time: the artillery barrage of3D2

    Coy went right over us and caused many casualties in fact it was lucky anyone was left

    alive. But behind the barrage we saw a splendid to the number of 1400. The machine

    gun bullets were whistling round us now, but still 3D2 Coy kept on: they went right past

    us, looking death straight in the face; they kept on till only two men were left, it was a

    splendid charge. Capt Gibbons &2nd Lt Brown were wounded & 2 Lt Hyrons was killed.

    Soon after this darkness came on & i got a message back to Hqs, telling of the state of

    things. Very soon I was sent for by the C.O. who told me to take the place of 3A2 Coy who

    had taken up a support position 100 yards in rear. So I proceeded with forty men, whom I

    had collected, to this line. We started digging ther hard, so as to get shelter for the next

    day. Meanwhile 3B2 Coy had also withdrawn a bit & the wounded were got back. Very

    soon my Company (as I was now in command) was joined by my other platton, which

    12/01/2006                                                           


  • November 1, 2018 09:18:22 Gregoria Evripidou

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave undre me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we webt with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

    from our forst position, through we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

    was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

    machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

    objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

    entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled un and on the left one platoon had gone

    on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

    anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

    2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

    perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

    as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

    Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

    there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

    only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

    by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

    The onle officers left whole were Capr March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that

    afternoon we had the worst trial. Now we had a terrible time: the artillery barrage of3D2

    Coy went right over us and caused many casualties in fact it was lucky anyone was left

    alive. But behind the barrage we saw a splendid to the number of 1400. The machine

    gun bullets were whistling round us now, but still 3D2 Coy kept on: they went right past

    us, looking death straight in the face; they kept on till only two men were left, it was a

    splendid charge. Capt Gibbons &2nd Lt Brown were wounded & 2 Lt Hyrons was killed.

    Soon after this darkness came on & i got a message back to Hqs, telling of the state of

    things. Very soon I was sent for by the C.O. who told me to take the place of 3A2 Coy who

    had taken up a support position 100 yards in rear. So I proceeded with forty men, whom I

    had collected, to this line. We started digging ther hard, so as to get shelter for the next

    day. Meanwhile 3B2 Coy had also withdrawn a bit & the wounded were got back. Very

    soon my Company (as I was now in command) was joined by my other platton, which

    12/01/2006                                                           


  • November 1, 2018 09:17:42 Gregoria Evripidou

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave undre me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we webt with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

    from our forst position, through we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

    was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

    machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

    objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

    entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled un and on the left one platoon had gone

    on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

    anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

    2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

    perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

    as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

    Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

    there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

    only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

    by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

    The onle officers left whole were Capr March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that

    afternoon we had the worst trial. Now we had a terrible time: the artillery barrage of3D2

    Coy went right over us and caused many casualties in fact it was lucky anyone was left

    alive. But behind the barrage we saw a splendid to the number of 1400. The machine

    gun bullets were whistling round us now, but still 3D2 Coy kept on: they went right past

    us, looking death straight in the face; they kept on till only two men were left, it was a

    splendid charge. Capt Gibbons &2nd Lt Brown were wounded & 2 Lt Hyrons was killed.

    Soon after this darkness came on & i got a message back to Hqs, telling of the state of

    things. Very soon I was sent for by the C.O. who told me to take the place of 3A2 Coy who

    had taken up a support position 100 yards in rear. So I proceeded with forty men, whom I

    had collected, to this line. We started digging ther hard, so as to get shelter for the next

    day. Meanwhile 3B2 Coy had also withdrawn a bit & the wounded were got back. Very

    soon my Company (as I was now in command) was joined by my other platton, which


  • November 1, 2018 09:11:05 Gregoria Evripidou

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave undre me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we webt with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

    from our forst position, through we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

    was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

    machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

    objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

    entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled un and on the left one platoon had gone

    on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

    anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

    2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

    perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

    as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

    Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

    there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

    only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

    by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

    The onle officers left whole were Capr March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that

    afternoon we had the worst trial. Now we had a terrible time: the artillery barrage of3D2

    Coy went right over us and caused many casualties in fact it was lucky anyone was left

    alive. But behind the barrage we saw a splendid to the number of 1400. The machine

    gun bullets were whistling round us now, but still 3D2 Coy kept on: they went right past

    us, looking death straight in the face; they kept on till only two men were left, it was a splendid charge. Capt 


  • November 1, 2018 09:06:23 Gregoria Evripidou

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave undre me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we webt with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

    from our forst position, through we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

    was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

    machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

    objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

    entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled un and on the left one platoon had gone

    on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

    anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that

    2nd Lt Callaway lost his life, while trying to bring in his wounded sergeant; this was

    perhaps the bravest act on that day. Also Algy, who was on the left, was never seen again;

    as a matter of fact he had been wounded while trying to get [in] touch with the Guards.

    Later on Capt Holden got a bullet through his hand, while trying to inspect the work; but

    there was no means of getting back. We hung on here, longing for the darkness. We had 

    only the ordinary rations & were pretty wet by now. Every now & then a shell burst near

    by & there were casualties. In the afternoon 2nd Lt Runtz tried to get back; but was hit.

    The onle officers left whole were Capr March of3 B2 Coy & myself. At 6 oclock that


  • November 1, 2018 09:00:15 Gregoria Evripidou

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave undre me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we webt with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy till we were 250 yds

    from our forst position, through we had several casualties from our own barrage, which

    was one of the worst, and amongst them was my servant. After 250 yards the Bosch

    machine guns began to play on us & the casualties came quickly: but we got our

    objectives without encountering a German; but about 100 yards in front of us lay the

    entrenched Germans. The two Companies were hopelessly muddled un and on the left one platoon had gone

    on too far. The Bosche machine gunners now kept up a slow & very deadly fire and

    anyone, who popped his head up above his shell hole, was hit. It was about this time that


  • November 1, 2018 08:53:31 Gregoria Evripidou

    Sept13th Arrow -Head Copse

    At 2 a.m. the men were ready to move off; the first difficulty was to find our way to

    the position because everything looked the same. We marched down in single file

    through the ruins of Guillemont and then we

    Guillemont followed what was left of a railway and after an hour

    Quadrilateral position in three waves, ready for the attack at dawn. We had a 3 hour's wait

    in the drizzling rain: I managed to doze off a bit. At 5.30 I went round the men to wake

    them up. I had the second wave undre me, Algy the first & Runtz the third. At 6 a.m. the barrage started and 32 over the top2 we webt with fixed bayonets. We had about 300 yards

    to go to get our position. We met with no objection from the enemy


Description

Save description
  • 50.013785||2.825361||

    Guillemont, France

Location(s)
  • Document location Guillemont, France


ID
17050 / 201680
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



Notes and questions

Login to leave a note