John Duesbery (Sherwood Foresters) killed on Somme, item 109

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had gone too far & we numbered 70 odd. Very soon after we got here, the Bosch set up a heavy bombardment of big shells & every minute I expected one in the trench to finish us. Shortly after this the C.O. came down & talked to me about the plans.


Sept 14th Quadrilateral   Towards morning the machine gun officer came down and was attached to 3C2 Coy. The day dawned fine and we soon managed to dry ourselves a bit. The whole of that day we remained quiet & tried to sleep. During the afternoon we had another period of heavy shelling: but without casualties. Towards evening the M.G.O. 2 Lt Barnes went to Hqs to get orders. Meanwhile I tried to get a party back for rations: they were caught, however, and four men were wounded; but the rations were got up. Barnes soon came back with unexpected news:- we were to go 3over the top2 in a big attack; but we were to be in support to the Norfolks. He told me all about it, though seemed to be a bit hazy.


Sept 15th Quadrilateral Ginchy - Telegraph. Guillemont Maricourt

Just before dawn we saw the Norfolks go through and get into position. As dawn arrived, we saw the Tanks coming towards us; very weird they looked in the half light. At 6.20 the artillery barrage started and the Norfolk front waves began to move. For an hour an half (sic) every gun in rear fired for all it was worth. During this time we had some breakfast with rum. At 7.15 we began to move out of our trenches. At the very start Barnes was hit in the leg. As we moved out, we saw many of our wounded working back & also, which put new life into us, bunches of Bosche prisoners being taken back. It was a difficult job getting the men into line under heavy fire; but we got there, next to 3B2 Coy again. 2 Lt Grounds was killed just then. We began to move on; but just as things were going smoothly I got knocked out by a bullet through the ankle. One of the men did the ankle up & I waited a bit till the attack went by. I saw Fellowes fall, just after I had been hit & heard he had been killed. There seemed to be no sign of the 3Tanks2 anywhere, except a broken down one. Our artillery had died down a bit & the Bosch sent shells over every few seconds; but mostly further back. The Bosch machine guns were still very lively. However, I started to walk back; but soon found that a failure and had to resort to crawling on all fours. I kept as much as possible in the shell holes to escape the bullets and worked back. All the way back there were dead & wounded lying about: temporary dressing stations had also been erected; but I passed these until I got back about a mile, when I came across a reserve trench held by some of the Guards. They helped me into the trench and bound up the wound afresh; they told me it was about another 400 yards to the ambulances, so I started out; but, before I had gone far, the officer despatched two men to give me a hand. I got onto their backs and after sundry halts and jars got back through Guillemont to within 100 yards of the ambulances. I could now see our guns roaring all along that bit of line and it seemed as if the old Bosch must give in; he, on the other hand, was still sending some stuff across, which was bursting pretty near. Here I was picked up by the R.A.M.C. stretcher bearers, put on a stretcher & carted back to the ambulance. As I

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Page 4 of 5

had gone too far & we numbered 70 odd. Very soon after we got here, the Bosch set up a heavy bombardment of big shells & every minute I expected one in the trench to finish us. Shortly after this the C.O. came down & talked to me about the plans.


Sept 14th Quadrilateral   Towards morning the machine gun officer came down and was attached to 3C2 Coy. The day dawned fine and we soon managed to dry ourselves a bit. The whole of that day we remained quiet & tried to sleep. During the afternoon we had another period of heavy shelling: but without casualties. Towards evening the M.G.O. 2 Lt Barnes went to Hqs to get orders. Meanwhile I tried to get a party back for rations: they were caught, however, and four men were wounded; but the rations were got up. Barnes soon came back with unexpected news:- we were to go 3over the top2 in a big attack; but we were to be in support to the Norfolks. He told me all about it, though seemed to be a bit hazy.


Sept 15th Quadrilateral Ginchy - Telegraph. Guillemont Maricourt

Just before dawn we saw the Norfolks go through and get into position. As dawn arrived, we saw the Tanks coming towards us; very weird they looked in the half light. At 6.20 the artillery barrage started and the Norfolk front waves began to move. For an hour an half (sic) every gun in rear fired for all it was worth. During this time we had some breakfast with rum. At 7.15 we began to move out of our trenches. At the very start Barnes was hit in the leg. As we moved out, we saw many of our wounded working back & also, which put new life into us, bunches of Bosche prisoners being taken back. It was a difficult job getting the men into line under heavy fire; but we got there, next to 3B2 Coy again. 2 Lt Grounds was killed just then. We began to move on; but just as things were going smoothly I got knocked out by a bullet through the ankle. One of the men did the ankle up & I waited a bit till the attack went by. I saw Fellowes fall, just after I had been hit & heard he had been killed. There seemed to be no sign of the 3Tanks2 anywhere, except a broken down one. Our artillery had died down a bit & the Bosch sent shells over every few seconds; but mostly further back. The Bosch machine guns were still very lively. However, I started to walk back; but soon found that a failure and had to resort to crawling on all fours. I kept as much as possible in the shell holes to escape the bullets and worked back. All the way back there were dead & wounded lying about: temporary dressing stations had also been erected; but I passed these until I got back about a mile, when I came across a reserve trench held by some of the Guards. They helped me into the trench and bound up the wound afresh; they told me it was about another 400 yards to the ambulances, so I started out; but, before I had gone far, the officer despatched two men to give me a hand. I got onto their backs and after sundry halts and jars got back through Guillemont to within 100 yards of the ambulances. I could now see our guns roaring all along that bit of line and it seemed as if the old Bosch must give in; he, on the other hand, was still sending some stuff across, which was bursting pretty near. Here I was picked up by the R.A.M.C. stretcher bearers, put on a stretcher & carted back to the ambulance. As I


Transcription history
  • September 6, 2019 00:52:35 Julia Bourbois

    Page 4 of 5

    had gone too far & we numbered 70 odd. Very soon after we got here, the Bosch set up a heavy bombardment of big shells & every minute I expected one in the trench to finish us. Shortly after this the C.O. came down & talked to me about the plans.


    Sept 14th Quadrilateral   Towards morning the machine gun officer came down and was attached to 3C2 Coy. The day dawned fine and we soon managed to dry ourselves a bit. The whole of that day we remained quiet & tried to sleep. During the afternoon we had another period of heavy shelling: but without casualties. Towards evening the M.G.O. 2 Lt Barnes went to Hqs to get orders. Meanwhile I tried to get a party back for rations: they were caught, however, and four men were wounded; but the rations were got up. Barnes soon came back with unexpected news:- we were to go 3over the top2 in a big attack; but we were to be in support to the Norfolks. He told me all about it, though seemed to be a bit hazy.


    Sept 15th Quadrilateral Ginchy - Telegraph. Guillemont Maricourt

    Just before dawn we saw the Norfolks go through and get into position. As dawn arrived, we saw the Tanks coming towards us; very weird they looked in the half light. At 6.20 the artillery barrage started and the Norfolk front waves began to move. For an hour an half (sic) every gun in rear fired for all it was worth. During this time we had some breakfast with rum. At 7.15 we began to move out of our trenches. At the very start Barnes was hit in the leg. As we moved out, we saw many of our wounded working back & also, which put new life into us, bunches of Bosche prisoners being taken back. It was a difficult job getting the men into line under heavy fire; but we got there, next to 3B2 Coy again. 2 Lt Grounds was killed just then. We began to move on; but just as things were going smoothly I got knocked out by a bullet through the ankle. One of the men did the ankle up & I waited a bit till the attack went by. I saw Fellowes fall, just after I had been hit & heard he had been killed. There seemed to be no sign of the 3Tanks2 anywhere, except a broken down one. Our artillery had died down a bit & the Bosch sent shells over every few seconds; but mostly further back. The Bosch machine guns were still very lively. However, I started to walk back; but soon found that a failure and had to resort to crawling on all fours. I kept as much as possible in the shell holes to escape the bullets and worked back. All the way back there were dead & wounded lying about: temporary dressing stations had also been erected; but I passed these until I got back about a mile, when I came across a reserve trench held by some of the Guards. They helped me into the trench and bound up the wound afresh; they told me it was about another 400 yards to the ambulances, so I started out; but, before I had gone far, the officer despatched two men to give me a hand. I got onto their backs and after sundry halts and jars got back through Guillemont to within 100 yards of the ambulances. I could now see our guns roaring all along that bit of line and it seemed as if the old Bosch must give in; he, on the other hand, was still sending some stuff across, which was bursting pretty near. Here I was picked up by the R.A.M.C. stretcher bearers, put on a stretcher & carted back to the ambulance. As I

  • November 1, 2018 09:35:58 Gregoria Evripidou

    Page 4 of 5

    had gone too far & we numbered 70 odd. Very soon after we got here, the Bosch set up a heavy bombardment of big shells & every minute I expected one in the trench to finish us. Shortly after this the C.O. came down & talked to me about the plans.

    Sept 14th Quadrilateral Towards morning the machine gun officer came down and was attached to 3C2 Coy. The day dawned fine and we soon managed to dry ourselves a bit. The whole of that day we remained quiet & tried to sleep. During the afternoon we had another period of heavy shelling: but without casualties. Towards evening the M.G.O. 2 Lt Barnes went to Hqs to get orders. Meanwhile I tried to get a party back for rations: they were caught, however, and four men were wounded; but the rations were got up. Barnes soon came back with unexpected news:- we were to go 3over the top2 in a big attack; but we were to be in support to the Norfolks. He told me all about it, though seemed to be a bit hazy.

    Sept 15th Quadrilateral Ginchy - Telegraph. Guillemont Maricourt Just before dawn we saw the Norfolks go through and get into position. As dawn arrived, we saw the Tanks coming towards us; very weird they looked in the half light. At 6.20 the artillery barrage started and the Norfolk front waves began to move. For an hour an half (sic) every gun in rear fired for all it was worth. During this time we had some breakfast with rum. At 7.15 we began to move out of our trenches. At the very start Barnes was hit in the leg. As we moved out, we saw many of our wounded working back & also, which put new life into us, bunches of Bosche prisoners being taken back. It was a difficult job getting the men into line under heavy fire; but we got there, next to 3B2 Coy again. 2 Lt Grounds was killed just then. We began to move on; but just as things were going smoothly I got knocked out by a bullet through the ankle. One of the men did the ankle up & I waited a bit till the attack went by. I saw Fellowes fall, just after I had been hit & heard he had been killed. There seemed to be no sign of the 3Tanks2 anywhere, except a broken down one. Our artillery had died down a bit & the Bosch sent shells over every few seconds; but mostly further back. The Bosch machine guns were still very lively. However, I started to walk back; but soon found that a failure and had to resort to crawling on all fours. I kept as much as possible in the shell holes to escape the bullets and worked back. All the way back there were dead & wounded lying about: temporary dressing stations had also been erected; but I passed these until I got back about a mile, when I came across a reserve trench held by some of the Guards. They helped me into the trench and bound up the wound afresh; they told me it was about another 400 yards to the ambulances, so I started out; but, before I had gone far, the officer despatched two men to give me a hand. I got onto their backs and after sundry halts and jars got back through Guillemont to within 100 yards of the ambulances. I could now see our guns roaring all along that bit of line and it seemed as if the old Bosch must give in; he, on the other hand, was still sending some stuff across, which was bursting pretty near. Here I was picked up by the R.A.M.C. stretcher bearers, put on a stretcher & carted back to the ambulance. As 1


  • November 1, 2018 09:30:55 Gregoria Evripidou

    Page 4 of 5

    had gone too far & we numbered 70 odd. Very soon after we got here, the Bosch set up a


Description

Save description
  • 50.023601||2.83103||

    Ginchy, France

  • 50.013785||2.825361||

    Guillemont, France

Location(s)
  • Document location Ginchy, France
  • Additional document location Guillemont, France


ID
17050 / 201681
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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