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|Those Who Came After The Original 500|
William Joseph Gosse enlisted in the Royal Newfoundland
Regt on 13 Jan 1915 at the age of 19 years. He was assigned Regt
# 963. His address was given as Torbay, St. John's East and his next of
kin was his sister, Miss Maude Gosse. He was single at the time.
He served in the Dardenelles and also in France. He was born on Feb.29, 1896, since that was a leap year his date was carried as March 1, 1896. His Officer was Captain Frank Knight (After the War Frank Knight became an announcer, first on radio and then early TV, for the "LONGINE WITTNAUER" program of Concerts). "Uncle Bill's" story as told by William G. Martin Uncle Bill was related to me but way back by blood, he was married to my Uncle Fred's sister, Gert Gushue. One night in the 50's, as I remember, I asked him if he had seen a public tv show "The Great War". He said that he had and wished that he had not. That night he woke up as if he were back in the war, and was disturbed . He related that he was dragging guns up on the Dardenelles, next to the Australians. Being tired he went to sleep with two other soldiers in a hole on the beach. His cousin came up and said "Bill Bye, come and wash up. He told him "No", as he was exhausted. But he said his cousin prevailed on him, so he went down with him.While he was washing up they heard "incoming" go by. He said when he went back he could not find a piece of the other two fellas that he had just left. He said "yes bye, if your numbers on it, you go".
He related that they had an operation in France over the top along with an English outfit on their side somewhere. It was a disaster and they lost a lot of their men in it. They reached their objective and the officer told them that the Gerries were in the same trenches and one of them had to go. So they had a fierce and bloody battle and won. They tended to blame the English for not taking their objective.The Officers knew how they felt and made sure they had no weapons. They went to town, picked up bricks, wood trunks, and anything else they could use and had a terrible fight with English troops. He said when he thought about it later he felt that perhaps the English had run into fiercer opposition (I heard on "Upstairs, Downstairs", an episode where Capt. James tells his father about a similar if not the same incident and said the Canadians saved the day") or their officers were not as good as their own.
Finally, he told me that they were among the first hit with gas.They saw men falling and the rats running so they got down low and put wet cloths over their mouths to breath thru. I shall never forget his tale to me. Never before or after did he ever speak of it to me. He was a very wonderful person and a very devout Catholic.
Military Records Contact: Daniel B. Breen
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