Thomas Witham ["Tales of the V.C."], item 4

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TALES OF THE V.C.

Private Thomas WItham, 1st. Battalion Coldstream Guards.

By, Lieut: J. P. Lloyd


  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,

Transcription saved

TALES OF THE V.C.

Private Thomas WItham, 1st. Battalion Coldstream Guards.

By, Lieut: J. P. Lloyd


  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,


Transcription history
  • January 18, 2018 04:12:21 Thomas A. Lingner

    TALES OF THE V.C.

    Private Thomas WItham, 1st. Battalion Coldstream Guards.

    By, Lieut: J. P. Lloyd


      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,

Description

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  • 50.8798343||2.8880638000000545||

    Pilckem Ridge, near Ypres

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


ID
5454 / 60684
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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