Thomas Witham ["Tales of the V.C."], item 1

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TALES OF THE V.C.

Private Thomas WItham, 1st. Battalion Coldstream Guards.

By, Lieut: J. P. Lloyd


 stamped 

M.I.7 B (1)

31 MAY 1918


  It was the morning of the 31st of July 1917, and the 1st battalion of

the Coldstream Guards had taken two lines of German trenches on

Pilckem Ridge. In each one of the chain of shell holes, that was

all that remained of the German second line, crouched the men of the leading wave,

waiting only for the order to go forward again.

In one of these craters on the right of the line sat three men - a

sergeant, a corporal, and a private. Up and down the dreary

waste of gray mud in front of them the British shells were

bursting in a leaping inferno of smoke and flame. They were

bursting, too, in clouds of red dust upon a heap of bricks and rubble,

which had once been a house, some 70 yards away to their right front.

  Suddenly, as they waited there, out of the ruins came a

quick gust of bullets, that cracked like whips overhead, and, even

above the thunder of the barrage, the three men could hear the

familiar insistent chatter of a machine-gun. Lurking in some hidden

corner, it had escaped the anger of our guns. In a few minutes the

barrage would lift, and the machine-gun would work its will

upon the khaki line that marched behind it up the base slope of

the hill.

Somehow, and at once, that machine gun must be silenced. But how?

Between the three men and the emplacement fell what seemed to be

an impenetrable curtain of fire, and if, by a miracle, a man

should come safely through that, how could he reach the machine
gun unseen by it's crew? Then, as if in answer to the question,

a smoke shell burst close in front of them, and the emplacement

was blotted out by an eddying cloud of smoke.

Before his companions realised what was in his mind Witham, the 

private had scrambled out of the shell-hole and was racing through

the smoke towards the ruins.

At the appointed time the barrage lifted, and the Coldstreamers rose

and walked behind it up the bare slope of Pilkem Ridge. But

Transcription saved

TALES OF THE V.C.

Private Thomas WItham, 1st. Battalion Coldstream Guards.

By, Lieut: J. P. Lloyd


 stamped 

M.I.7 B (1)

31 MAY 1918


  It was the morning of the 31st of July 1917, and the 1st battalion of

the Coldstream Guards had taken two lines of German trenches on

Pilckem Ridge. In each one of the chain of shell holes, that was

all that remained of the German second line, crouched the men of the leading wave,

waiting only for the order to go forward again.

In one of these craters on the right of the line sat three men - a

sergeant, a corporal, and a private. Up and down the dreary

waste of gray mud in front of them the British shells were

bursting in a leaping inferno of smoke and flame. They were

bursting, too, in clouds of red dust upon a heap of bricks and rubble,

which had once been a house, some 70 yards away to their right front.

  Suddenly, as they waited there, out of the ruins came a

quick gust of bullets, that cracked like whips overhead, and, even

above the thunder of the barrage, the three men could hear the

familiar insistent chatter of a machine-gun. Lurking in some hidden

corner, it had escaped the anger of our guns. In a few minutes the

barrage would lift, and the machine-gun would work its will

upon the khaki line that marched behind it up the base slope of

the hill.

Somehow, and at once, that machine gun must be silenced. But how?

Between the three men and the emplacement fell what seemed to be

an impenetrable curtain of fire, and if, by a miracle, a man

should come safely through that, how could he reach the machine
gun unseen by it's crew? Then, as if in answer to the question,

a smoke shell burst close in front of them, and the emplacement

was blotted out by an eddying cloud of smoke.

Before his companions realised what was in his mind Witham, the 

private had scrambled out of the shell-hole and was racing through

the smoke towards the ruins.

At the appointed time the barrage lifted, and the Coldstreamers rose

and walked behind it up the bare slope of Pilkem Ridge. But


Transcription history
  • January 18, 2018 04:22:43 Thomas A. Lingner

    TALES OF THE V.C.

    Private Thomas WItham, 1st. Battalion Coldstream Guards.

    By, Lieut: J. P. Lloyd


     stamped 

    M.I.7 B (1)

    31 MAY 1918


      It was the morning of the 31st of July 1917, and the 1st battalion of

    the Coldstream Guards had taken two lines of German trenches on

    Pilckem Ridge. In each one of the chain of shell holes, that was

    all that remained of the German second line, crouched the men of the leading wave,

    waiting only for the order to go forward again.

    In one of these craters on the right of the line sat three men - a

    sergeant, a corporal, and a private. Up and down the dreary

    waste of gray mud in front of them the British shells were

    bursting in a leaping inferno of smoke and flame. They were

    bursting, too, in clouds of red dust upon a heap of bricks and rubble,

    which had once been a house, some 70 yards away to their right front.

      Suddenly, as they waited there, out of the ruins came a

    quick gust of bullets, that cracked like whips overhead, and, even

    above the thunder of the barrage, the three men could hear the

    familiar insistent chatter of a machine-gun. Lurking in some hidden

    corner, it had escaped the anger of our guns. In a few minutes the

    barrage would lift, and the machine-gun would work its will

    upon the khaki line that marched behind it up the base slope of

    the hill.

    Somehow, and at once, that machine gun must be silenced. But how?

    Between the three men and the emplacement fell what seemed to be

    an impenetrable curtain of fire, and if, by a miracle, a man

    should come safely through that, how could he reach the machine
    gun unseen by it's crew? Then, as if in answer to the question,

    a smoke shell burst close in front of them, and the emplacement

    was blotted out by an eddying cloud of smoke.

    Before his companions realised what was in his mind Witham, the 

    private had scrambled out of the shell-hole and was racing through

    the smoke towards the ruins.

    At the appointed time the barrage lifted, and the Coldstreamers rose

    and walked behind it up the bare slope of Pilkem Ridge. But


Description

Save description
  • 50.8798343||2.8880638000000545||

    Pilckem Ridge, near Ypres

    ||1
Location(s)
  • Story location Pilckem Ridge, near Ypres


ID
5454 / 60680
Source
http://europeana1914-1918.eu/...
Contributor
Jeremy Arter
License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


  • English

  • Western Front

  • Propaganda
  • Remembrance
  • Trench Life



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