Sound: veteran describes trench warfare

A veteran of the Battle of the Somme describes trench warfare.


We dug the trench, and I tell ya there was no nonsense like they have with the trade unionists today, no bans or strikes or anything like it, by Christ you dug, I tell you work. And you worked until you had enough depth that you could lie down in it out of sight.

Well, anyhow, we dug down, and that night he started onto us with the trench mortar, the German did, what we called a pineapple, a bloody bomb the size of a pineapple full of high explosive. You could hear it implode, we had a bloke on the look out, you see. Thud! You’d hear the thud of his gun. ‘Here she comes, boys.’ You'd see this thing come with all the sparks out of the fuse. He put them over; he put them under; he put them over; he put them under. We knew, by God, he was going to put one and kill the lot of us.

Well, he didn’t. He put one on the back of the trench. Well, that hit me. I got concussion there; it blew the glass out of my wristlet watch. One thing is you know how good it was. That hit me, the concussion, and I was just blacking out (gasp), and I was getting a breath like that (gasp), and I come around. My God, it was close.

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ross mosher

Posted: 21 May 2009

i once had a relitive that was a streacher berer during the battle of the somme