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|Those Who Came After The Original 500|
|Memoirs of Howard Leopold Morry
Notebook (numbered 50)
Transcribed by Howard Glendon Morry (grandson), March 2003Note - reading this diary encouraged me to do a fair bit of research on the war, and I and my brother Chris have made some corrections and additions (in blue italics) where we think this helps to clarify the text. Where it was possible to find information with some certainty about the men named in the text, there is an account of their war records at the end of this transcript.
Accompanying note: to Tom (Senior) (Thomas Graham Morry – Howard’s son):
Take care of this book – ‘twill be interesting for your grandchildren to read by and by. ‘Twas a great experience boy. Not many of the Dardanelles bunch left right now. I think you’ll be interested in that petition sent from the residents of Isle Au Bois. Hope the children are all well. If you could get a copy typed for Reg, I guess he would be interested too. Should have sent this book a week or more ago, but was waiting for a copy of that petition. So long to you all – soon be leaving for the land of the Heather.
Ferryland. 16 August, 1622
Capt. Edward Wynne
The names of those that stay with me this year:
(Note - many surnames are hard to read in Dad Morry’s handwriting, and some appear to have been written phonetically; they have therefore been vetted against the rendition of this list given in “Documents relating to Ferryland: 1597 to 1726 - A textbase, including original transcriptions. Prepared by Peter E. Pope A. B., M.A., M.Litt. (Oxon.), Ph.D. June, 1993; Past Present - Historic Sites and Material Culture Consulting (709) 737-2126; 437-6134, Box 17, Site 8, RR 1 Torbay, Newfoundland, A0A 3Z0, Canada” - Glen and Chris Morry)
Captain Powell, Nicholas Hoskins, Robert Stoning, Henry Dring, (Husbandman) William Sharpus (Tailor), Elizabeth Sharpus (his wife), Roger Freshman (Surgeon), Henry Daring (husbandman), Owen Evans, Mary Russel, Sibell Dee (maide), Elizabeth Kerne and Jone Jackson (Girles) Thomas Wilson and John Prater (Smithes), James Beuell (Stone-layer), Benjamin Hacker (Quarry-man), Nicholas Hinckson and Robert Bennet (Carpenters), William Hatch and Henry Doke (Boats-master), John Bayly, Anne Bayly (his wife), Widow Bayly, Joseph Parscer, Robert Row (Fisherman), Philip Jane (Cooper), William Bond and Peter Wotton (Boats-masters), Ellis Hinckson and Digory Fleshman and Richard Higgins (Boyes). In all 32.
The old folks always said that quite a number of people lived in Ferryland before Lord Baltimore got a grant for it. And what seems to prove it is that Wynne said in a letter in 1623 that they had corn in ear in July of that year, which would be impossible unless the ground was cleared and cultivated for at least two years previously. Besides, Cornfield is down here on the North side of Ferryland. The field where Thomas Grant lives now was always called Cornfield, and it’s over a mile from Baltimore’s Plantation on the Downs. Why would he come down here to clear another bit of land? I can never find out who lived in the Downs house – out on the Downs.
(Note – Wynne actually was in Ferryland in the summer of 1621, having arrived from Plymouth on the 4th of August that year. And so it was entirely possible that the corn they were reaping in 2003 was from grain planted on ground they cleared that first summer. Also Dad Morry may have made the common mistake of North Americans in believing this referred to Indian corn, or maize to the English. In fact, it would have referred to wheat, known as corn to the English, which can be cultivated in a single season.)
My great-grandmother Windsor (NB: Anne Coulman Winsor, b 1807. This was long after Baltimore’s house was destroyed by the French in the late 1600s so the Downs House referred to must have belonged to a later land owner.) of Aquaforte told me that when she was a little girl she went out there with her mother to a dance. The Officers were all dressed grand with white stockings and silver buckles on their shoes. The foundation is still plain to be seen. The oldest settlement of any account in Newfoundland and all the historians and teachers overlook it – I have always wondered why.
I’ve brought hundreds and hundreds of visitors out to the Isle Aux Bois to see the fortifications and they were all greatly impressed, especially the Americans were horrified to think that such a historic place was so neglected. In fact, the American government were all ready to build a park and put up a monument on the site of Baltimore’s residence but the government wouldn’t allow them and it fell through. That’s years ago. Then the Federal Government were going to put something there. I guess it’s the case of the dog in the manger. They won’t do it themselves and they wouldn’t let the Americans do it.
I often think – I wonder will Canada ever be united? The folks in central Canada don’t give a damn about the history that was made in the eastern provinces and so it goes. We have a long way to go to be united like our friends below the border.
I also often wonder if what we have gained in, say Social Services, will ever balance what we have lost in our young folks’ manhood, independence, self-confidence and the will to face hardships and make our own way. I’m old and I wonder – the difference between the kids of even thirty to forty years ago, in fact twenty years ago, and now. It’s not something nice to contemplate and I think it will take two or three generations to bring people back to independence and honesty again.
August 3, 1957
Today I read a book on Gallipoli by Alan Moorhead. I’ve often tried to remember some of my experiences there and the boys of our own Eleven Platoon C Company especially. There in the trenches we could not move anywhere, as we had only a few miles strip on the coast and were continually under shell fire. So we could not tell much of what the other Buddies did.
We had a nice trip down from Liverpool on the Troopship Majestic I think that is what her name was (the name was Megantic, she was part of the White Star line - named after Lake Megantic in Quebec, she operated on the Canada route until requisitioned as a troopship during WW1) – we could not see it or anything as it had been removed for secrecy of troop movements. There was a battalion of British troops on her going down with us – the Warwicks. They were going on garrison duty to Khartoum. They were practically all middle-aged men, most of them having served twenty-one years in the army.
A lot of our fellows slept on deck as ‘twas too warm down below all the way down the Mediterranean. And when the crew began washing down the decks in the early morning we had to wake up and move out of the way, but we sure had a good refreshing sleep – not like all the soldiers that slept below. The heat was stifling. We stopped at Malta. Only a few were allowed on shore, the rest of us just had to stay on board.
When we came to Suez, it was different. I had an Aunt living there – Mrs. Captain Richard Prior (NB: His mother’s sister Mathilda White.) of P&O line. When I asked for a pass to go on shore to see my Aunt, I was brought before the Colonel to make my request. He laughed and said “it’s surprising what a number of you chaps have relations here in Suez”. Anyway, I got Captain George Carty, a friend of my mother’s to tell the Colonel I really had an Aunt there. So my cousin Mont Winsor (Windsor actually) and I got a twenty-four hour pass and away to go.
We wandered around for hours and then a British Officer directed us to the European quarter. She was delighted to see us. Her daughter Mary was married to the Chief Censor (?) there, a real gentleman named Quintana (NB: Information provided by Grandson John Quinn in 2001 – “Mary Prior married William Quintana and they lived in Alexandria, Egypt. In 1939 the name was changed by deed poll from Quintana to Quinn. They had five children all now deceased. My father Gerald, John, Vernon(killed in the war), May and Yoland. My great grandfather John Quintana lived on the island of Syra, Greece where he was the British vice consul, he was married to Eugenie Rosier; they had fourteen children all born on the island.”). As it happened, they had a big party there that night, and Mont and I were ushered into a large room with about 80 guests, all in evening clothes. We felt very uncomfortable, as neither one of us was used to mixing in high society. Especially when we saw the array of knives and forks and spoons beside our plates – and lots of liquor, which we had never seen or known the name of. But they had lots of whisky, and we did very well after a few drinks. When we were leaving in the morning they gave us ten thousand cigarettes. These were very welcome to all the boys as we gave them away to them, as we did not smoke much.
When we got back to the ship they were entraining for Cairo. What a ride that was! We suffered with the heat and thirst. I used to go out and sit between the cars till I’d get sleepy then go back in the cars and stick it out for another while. One of our fellows – a kid from St. John’s, Hannaford by name - fell asleep while sitting between the cars and fell off the train. Luckily he was not hurt and joined us afterward on the peninsula.
We arrived at Cairo in the morning and were marched to barracks – I think Abbasick (Abbysia.) ‘twas called. We were dismissed. I remember lying in the hallway with some other chaps with our mouths to the gratings where the air circulated. After a while, none of the officers coming around, we wandered off first to a restaurant, then to get some Egyptian beer. “Camel piss” the Australians called it, and I don’t think they were far wrong. Awful stuff, but wet.
After a while we met a few Aussies, who took us under their wing, or rather, seeing we were colonials, brought us around and showed us all the tricks, such as riding the street cars without paying etc. One chap brought us out to the pyramids. He got a half dozen of his chums and got about fifty of us on the car. Among the bunch were Willis White, Harry Mifflin, Louis Head, Dave Carew, Hatty Thomas, Harold Andrews and a lot more I forget. They kicked off the conductor, so that saved us paying fares. We left the car at the end of the line and off we went to the pyramids. We had to take off our boots to climb the steps. They are worn right down in the middle from millions of pilgrims climbing up there through the ages. Even the sides of the steps where you put your hand were quite worn.
The big room at the top is quite big and is roofed over with six big polished slabs of stone. Polished and put together so closely you can hardly see the seams. When we came down, instead of paying one “Gyppo” (Egyptian) for holding our boots there were about fifty of them holding a boot each and they all yelling Buck Shee, so we had to pay for each boot. They are awful beggars. Everywhere we went they were holding out their hands for Buck Shee. When we got all fixed up our Aussie friends dispersed the crowd with a few kicks in the right place. They then took us, to of all places, Shepheards Hotel (famous colonial era hotel in Egypt), to the horror of our own and the British Officers, as ‘twas out of bounds for anyone but Commissioned Officers.
Anyway, in we went and had a few drinks of real beer before the RPs came to oust us. But they dared not interfere with the Aussies. They did not stand for any distinction between Officers and other ranks. But at that time ‘twas sure carried out in the Regular Army. Privates could not go out with Corporals or Sergeants who were your friends and neighbours at home. We did not keep away from our Non-Coms. We had some wonderful Sergeants among them – Joe McKinley, Charlie Watson, Ed Higgins. In fact all our Sergeants were pretty good.
When we went down to Port Tawfiq at the Red Sea end of the Suez Canal, I remember a bunch of Aussies meeting us and taking us off to have a few drinks. They liked our fellows as we were about the same extraction as them: English, Irish and Scotch. The first bar we came to was reserved for Sergeants and you could see the horrified look on the faces of the Regular Army Sergeants to see a bunch of privates sitting around the tables and drinking at the bar. They soon tried to drive us out, which created a kind of Donnybrook fair.
Before we went, one of the Aussies drew back two folding doors and there was a big room with two long tables laid out with all kinds of food. The Sergeants were having a big “do”. Four of the Aussies, led by a big fellow named Fagan got up and deliberately walked the whole length of the table with their big army boots on, and were not a bit particular of what they kicked over. When they got to the far end one of them jumped up on the grand piano and did a break down, while his chum played for him. Then the four of them linked arms and walked off singing “Australia will be there”, which used to make the British troops pretty mad. They’d say, “Australia will be there, they will my f-ing ass!”
A wild bunch they were, but good fighters. They had some very queer cuss words: “God strike me pink”, and “God strike me f-ing well blind” and so on. We met them at the Dardanelles, and again in France. I read a poem an Australian wrote on leaving Gallipoli. They hated to leave it and so many of their dead behind them. ‘Twas called “The Shake of a Dead Man’s Hand”. It seems the guy’s brother was killed and buried there; during the shelling it (the hand) was uncovered, and his brother shook it as he was passing out the trench.
They called us the little Newfoundlanders. I forgot to mention that on the trip down the Mediterranean we all got diarrhea. Almost every one of the thousands of men on the ship, and you can imagine the mess. The lavatories were crowded all day, and everywhere you looked men had their pants down. I got it bad – I never felt so much pain. I lay on the hatch and rolled around and moaned for hours. Two of my friends, Frank Le Messurier, and Bill Viguers found me there and got Captain Donnelly. He gave me a tumbler full of brandy while they were looking for the doctor. It did not seem to do me a bit of good. Some time through the night I’d fall asleep, but I was sure busy for three or four days and felt quite weak when we landed. The Warwicks, being older men, suffered a lot and lost quite a few men. The doctor blamed it on poisoned food, and we did not get any more bologna for the rest of the trip.
We came back to our barracks in Cairo about 3 p.m. after our visit to the pyramids. We peeped in through the gate, where we were joined by Fred Janes, Dan Costello, and Harold Andrews. Captain Rowsell was there reading the riot act to about a dozen men or so that had reported back to barracks. We sneaked off again and did not report to barracks until late at night. We were glad to be on the loose for a while. We expected punishment in the morning, but not a word was said. Seems a lot of the Officers were bad boys too.
We camped in the desert – some miles outside Cairo. Every evening at nightfall the Gyppos would come in to hire their donkeys for us to ride into town. Big fellows my size could hook our toes in the sand on each side of the donkey, and like the Irishman said “only for the name of the thing we might as well walk”. But the smaller fellows could make those donkeys go and lots of times outstripped their owners who were running behind, and when they came to Cairo give the donkeys and extra hard slap and send them running down the street. ‘Twas fun to see the owners when they did arrive to find neither donkeys nor money. After a day or so ‘twas pay first.
After a while in Cairo, Mont Winsor, his brother Stan and I went down to the Red Light district to see the sights. There were rows and rows of lovely buildings three or four stories high with balconies on them, and on these the gals were lounging around with very light veils over them. Transparent, or near about it – did not leave anything to the imagination. They sure were a great temptation, especially to us Newfies having seen nothing like that before. But being warned and lectured about syph and other venereal diseases, we kept away from them. We had also heard that 3,000 Australians were sent home incurable with syph. There wasn’t any drug to combat the disease at that time. But they were doing a thriving business with our boys, and some of the Aussies as well.
The three of us were standing on a corner, watching and talking to a couple of Aussies, when an Australian Padre came along and stopped and said “boys think of your wives and mothers and sisters at home”. One of the Aussies took out his pocket book and said “I’ll stand you a go, Parson!” We felt very much ashamed. The Padre walked away without saying a word. A few minutes afterward, what was afterwards called the Battle of the Wazit took place. First we heard girls screaming. Then we heard piano after piano coming out the upstairs windows. Then the fires started and whole blocks were burned. The Australians burned it down in retaliation for so many of their men getting doses there.
About 9 p.m. I was again taken with violent pains in the stomach and fell on the street. Mont was trying to get me back to barracks when an Aussie came along in his car and took me back. I don’t remember much else of our stay in Cairo. Next I remember one morning - I was in the field hospital and one of our officers came in and said “boys, we are off for the Dardanelles, who’s coming?” We all stepped forward except two. I often think what a foolish thing I did. I still was unwell and had dysentery until the day after the storm, it began to clear up after that. I don’t remember dates, I was too miserable – only certain things stayed in my mind. I know I visited the doctor every day at Sick Parade and got an egg cup full of castor oil and a needle and told not to eat Bully Beef or jam. That is all we had to eat except 3 army biscuits a day. I was 213 pounds when we were leaving Edinburgh and 124 when I left the peninsula but I still was on duty all the time – it was pure hell.
I was sent out to the beach for a rest. We had to bring rations in to the troops after night. In the day we lay low. My stomach used to rattle like a keg of water every step I’d take. There were hundreds of us in the same boat. No reinforcements to relieve us, though some of the doctors at home were getting as high as $25 and more for giving exemption papers to chaps who were dodging the draft. If the doctors only knew the wrongs they were doing on the sick and wounded in the line, they would not feel so happy about it.
Those of us who were sick got so thin, that you’d have to look twice to know them. Lips drawn back, receding foreheads and eyes away in the head; worn right down from dysentery, flies and lice and never out of range of rifle and shell fire. And the constant crack of rifle fire – in the trenches at night there was continual rifle fire. When on sentry, we’d stand on the fire step, watch for the flash of a Turkish rifle, fire at it and then move to another spot to fire again.
I remember going on patrol one night without our rifles, on account of one of our chaps the night before had shot an English Officer and we were not allowed to bring our rifles. The Turks got between us and the line. First thing I knew I saw a rifle flash behind us, and a chap Gravy Brown fell. I don’t know what his first name was – Gravy we always called him. He belonged Placentia way. Mike Downey, who was between me and Brown threw him across his shoulders and was making for the line with him, when I saw another flash right under my nose. I heard Brown grunt – he’d got it again. I don’t know what kept the Turks from wiping out the whole patrol, unless ‘twas the darkness. We ran for our lives – we had six or seven casualties among us.
Captain Cyril Carter was in charge of the patrol – a plucky man. Though badly wounded, he stood in the trench until all his men were accounted for. Mike Downey was one of the finest-built men I ever saw, strong as a bull, a quiet, nice chap – always happy and smiling. The Officers had quite a time with him, trying to get him to salute them and stand to attention when talking to them. I remember once in camp in Scotland, Captain Donnelly was drilling us. When we were dismissed, Downey hurried after him, and laying his hand on his shoulder said “what about a couple of shillings for a few beers?” We all got a great kick out of it! Donnelly read all the King’s Regs for us and threw the book at us next Parade.
I remember another night I was amongst a bunch to go out between the firing lines. I remember only three of the chaps who were on that digging party. I would not be sure of the others. They were Harold Andrews, Jack Davis and Dave Carew – the others I forget. Corporal Harold Mitchell was in charge of us. It was a cloudy night, but when the clouds came off, the moon shone brightly. I whispered to Harold “this looks like a dirty night on the crossroads (one of Bairnsfather’s sketches)” (Bairnsfather was a popular cartoonist of the day whose works, published in “The Bystander” starting in 1915, took on somewhat of a propaganda aspect during the war). We had a 5th Royal Scot between us to steady us. They were old soldiers; good steady dependable men. We hadn’t been digging long when the Turks opened fire on us, and one of the Scots was badly wounded. I heard him say “oh my bloody back” when they were bringing him in.
We kept on digging; when they’d give us rapid fire, we’d lie down, we dug till the trench was about four feet deep and was pretty good shelter. Just before day another crowd took over and they hadn’t been working long when poor little Dave Carew straightened up to take the kinks out of his back and got shot through the head. He was only eighteen and until the night before he shared his blanket with me. “I was just going to lay down on the fire step where we always lay together – I’m finished now. They have taken me away from you.” I just tried to jolly him out of it, but he looked awful sad.
Four or five of the young kids always hung around me; I was ten or twelve years older than them and used to knocking around, and they seemed to think I’d keep them safe. Poor little kids. They were Dave Carew, Billy Short, Chan Freebairn and Harold Andrews – the latter became a real good pal of mine through the years. Chan died of some kind of fever on the peninsula – only lived one day after having been taken out of the trenches.
Another chap, Soper, who came out with us on a digging party one night. He was awful bad with dysentery and I saw how weak he was. I told him to lie down in shelter. I’d call him when we were going in. When I went to call him he was dead. We were beginning to think we were forgotten. More than half down with dysentery and fever, beside the other casualties. No relief, no reinforcements coming, no matter how sick you were. Medicine and duty was all we got.
Shortly after we dug the new firing line, Captain Donnelly and a patrol captured a little hill between the lines. We called it Caribou Hill. I remember the names of only two of the men who were with him – Joachim Murphy and Bill Snow.
The days were awful hot, and the nights cold. We’d lay in the bottom of the trench in the middle of the day, so the sun could not shine in on us. The heat and lice and flies were something awful. The flies would gather in bunches wherever there was moisture – the corners of your mouth, your nostrils and eyelids – you just could not keep them beat off. They’d be in bunches and when you opened a tin of beef or jam ‘twas black with flies before you could eat a mouthful. No wonder we had dysentery.
The lice were so thick that anyone with a hairy body would spend most of their time scratching (I was one of these unfortunates). When you had your puttees on they’d gather down there and when you’d take them off, your legs would be covered as thick as they could stow. We were issued with knitted body belts about a foot wide to ward off cholera. We had to discard them or be eat off in the middle. When the sun would get up a bit, every man, with the exception of those at the periscopes would be stripped and anyone who had a bit of candle was lucky. You’d turn your pants inside out, turn back the seam, and there they were, piled on top of one another; run a lighted candle or a match up and down the seams a few times, then give them a good beating against the side of the trench and put them on again. After ten or twelve hours you were as lousy as ever. The eggs would be on you as thick as they could stow. Maybe a dozen eggs on a single hair. It wasn’t the fighting we minded, it was the heat and the flies and the lice.
After six months there we got our first ration of butter – 1 pound can for eight men for a week. Figure that out! Once in a while we’d get a few cigarettes. When the weather got a bit colder I was moved into the trenches again after two weeks rest at the beach. We’d be glad to be detailed to go out to the beach after dark – for sea water for the officers and men to wash in. We brought it in, in those four gallon square tins.
We also brought in the mail when it came; and one lucky night there were about twenty of us sent out for the mail - we had to make two trips – there were about forty bags. We got caught by shell fire on the crossroads. We dropped the mail and made for shelter. Jim Gladney, a Mount Cashel boy, was one of the first back. The bags were scattered a bit and he whispered to me “do you smell anything?” I said “yes, whiskey”. We found the bag – ‘twas a mess, but it opened our eyes. We knew now why the officers were standing up so well. Just a few we could trust.
Took special notice of the bag; we got another one just like it, unknown to the rest of the crowd – only six of us in on it. Next night we were not detailed, but the next again we were. And you can imagine our feelings when we stole away down in a ravine and opened the bag. Four bottles of whiskey, potted ham and chicken, Huntley and Palmers biscuits – what a feed and what a drink! We decided to let the rest of the fellows in on it. And when we got the right Sergeant or Corporal in charge of us, we were sure to be shelled on the crossroads and lose a bag or two. I often think since that these mail bags saved a lot of our lives – a good meal and a few drinks now and again worked wonders.
We were getting scared lest the officers would catch on as it was only the bags with the provisions in them that were getting hit, so we got one old mail bag that really got hit, with only one bottle and some biscuits and stuff all busted up, and brought it in, and that kind of postponed things. We did not get any parcels from home till we got down to Port Tawfiq, after we left the peninsula, but more about that later.
One night going in with the mail and rations, daylight caught us before we reached our lines and we lost five or six men. The Turks caught us on the open. That is the time the Red Cross man, Fitzgerald, from Kilbride was killed. He went out and hauled the wounded in to a shelter to dress their wounds. I think the song “The Valley of Kilbride” was written about him – a brave man. His death and the other deaths put a kind of a crimp in our adventures with the mail bags for a while.
One night we were waiting at the crossroads for the shelling and machine gun fire to die out, with one of the chaps, Louis Head from Comfort Cove, a real good living boy – did not cuss, swear, tell yarns or any of the things the rest of us did. I admired him much, for every evening he knelt on the fire steps and said his prayers, and often got pelted with things and jeered about it, till I told the chaps that he was better than any of us. I said “do you say your prayers – I guess you do, like me, but are ashamed to let anyone see you saying them”. He was left alone after that. Well, Louis asked if we would have to pay in the hereafter for robbing the mail bags. We kicked it around for a while and decided that after all there were a lot of things to be looked at. And we did not think that God would be too hard on anyone who was only trying to live. Dan Moore (Avondale) said God made wine out of water at a wedding, and he didn’t think there was much more in that than making whiskey out of mail bags.
Dan sure liked his liquor. When we were in training he was up before Orderly Room for being drunk and disorderly. I remember one night after we had been months on the peninsula we were all sitting around on the fire step, hardly a word spoken, just listening to the crack of the bullets overhead. Dan rose up a bit and said “I’ve just been trying to remember what a crime sheet looks like”. It sure gave us a laugh. Dan always said he’d like to die like a man, with his boots on. He lost a leg in France.
The night began to get colder and colder, but the days were still warm, and the lice and flies just as bad. We just lived from one day to another. Mail day was a great event. We opened our mail, swapped the news and talked a lot of home. Got the papers to read – the war news especially, as we did not know anything about it – only the little piece directly in front of us. We read with much amusement the stories of two of our boys who had arrived home for discharge after only a few days in the trenches.
The nights were long and lonely; one hour on sentry, an hour lying down on the fire step – go to sleep with the noise of bursting shells and the crack of the rifles, and wake with them still at it. Often winter nights at home sitting by the open fire and listening to the crackling of the sparks from the wood still reminds me of the intermittent rifle fire on quiet nights on the peninsula. How long the nights were in November, when it got dark before five and was dark for about fourteen hours. And how hungry we were. In fact, hunger and food were the chief topic of conversation. Bully beef, army biscuits and dried veg; a handful of prunes now and then, and apricot jam made out of turnips and hayseed (?). 2 oz of cheese per week and two oz of butter per week per man. I often wonder since I came home why we eat so much. I often feel stuffy after a big meal, and I think back to the army meals – just about a quarter as much. We were always hungry but still strong and fit and able to handle all kinds of hardship.
We were 35 days in the front line on a stretch one time. General Cayley would come in and ask our officers if we could stick it for another few days. He sure liked us, and our old Colonel Burton loved us and we him.
We were quite a handful too. Whenever we had a mix up with the Regulars in our Brigade he always took our part. Once he objected to the High Command that we were getting too much digging. He said “these boys came over to fight, not to do all the dirty work”. He went off sick, then we got Colonel Frew I think – I don’t remember too well, for I still had dysentery bad. No pain any more, but just the constant drip, drip and a very uncomfortable feeling either sitting or walking as one’s bowels were weak and came down. I was in a kind of haze or something – after a while we got used to them too. I just went on doing the daily round, half conscious.
Capt. Bernard – C Company’s Captain went off sick.
He asked all the boys to go and see him in his dugout before he left. A good officer who was well liked by all men – a good leader – he understood us and was never too strict.
Sometime early in the fall we finished our new firing line and put up the barbed wire in front of it. A few days after the Worcester Regiment took over and while they were in charge of the trench the Turks stole all the wire. The Worcesters blamed us for losing it, and after that every time we met on the beaches there was a free-for-all – till it came out on orders that the Worcesters had lost it. There was an uneasy peace after that between us. The Fifth Royal Scots were good pals of ours. They even shared their rum ration with us, till we got our own a few days after joining the Brigade.
As the weather got colder we had spells out to the beach, a few days at a time, and we began work on four dugouts to sleep in. I don’t know how many men they would hold, about a hundred each I would guess. We dug down about seven feet; then we put a ridge pole the whole length of it, put long poles on each side and let them run in on the bank about six feet and covered them with about three tiers of sand bags filled with earth. They were good and comfortable and warm. We could not hear the guns or shells and we lay as close as we could to each other. Dan Moore said that there would be nothing left but bones, because we were packed in so tight. You hadn’t room to turn or scratch and you got warm. Then the lice had a great time. Our Sergeant said eat plenty, stow thick and be lousy.
We just had one night in them when up comes the big rainstorm. We were ordered to the firing line and did some growling and swearing. We did not know how lucky we were – we went in the front line the day before the day of the storm. It was awful hot that day; we lay down in the bottom of the trench to get a breath of fresh air. About four or five in the afternoon of the 26th of November the rain began, the like I never saw, and the thunder and lightning were also the worst any of us had ever seen or heard of. You could see miles and miles when the big flashes came and when ‘twas over you could not see your hand before you. And going in for rations we had to take hold of each other’s coat tails so we would not lose contact with each other. I never saw it as dark in my life.
Late at night it began to blow from the east and it snowed and rained and froze intermittently for two days and nights. I was sent out to the beach in charge of a couple of men to get the rations and bring them in. When I got out, Sergeant Hector McNeil had them all ready – an East Indian and three men to each gharry (A horse-drawn carriage, used primarily in Egypt and India, often as a cab). The road in was by this time in spots a raging river. I nearly committed murder that night. The driver of the leading gharry kicked off his shoes and refused to drive till his shoes were found and that was impossible for there was about four feet of water there, and besides ‘twas as dark as could be. The mule stopped right in the middle of the river. There were two of us spoking the wheels but chummy refused to drive. I got so mad I reached up and hauled him down and pounded hell out of him. I used to bang his head against the gharry – only for one of the lads spoke to me, I might have injured him badly for I was in a murderous rage. I fired him ashore and got up in his place, took out my bayonet and gave the mule a little jab and he sure got on the job pretty quick. And incidentally, our fellows were the only ones who got rations that night in our Brigade.
When we were waiting to go around a little hill, where they always gave a couple minutes machine gun fire about every five minutes, we heard somebody moaning and we went to have a look and found a chap of the London Regiment lying down on the wet cold ground in the pouring rain, crying – only a young man too. We stood him up and walked him around till he got warm and put him on the road to go to the beach. Then we left to go in with the rations. His regiment was only about two weeks with us and they should have been good and strong.
We got caught in machine gun fire on the way back and lost five of our seven mules. Had to take the harness off them and make the two haul the seven gharries. One of the drivers was killed too and I don’t know why we did not lose more, as the bullets were hopping off the old gharries pretty often, while we were getting them ready for towing out. Anyway, in our hurry we forgot about chummy. Next night when we were bringing in the rations, we stopped as usual to wait for the fire to slacken, and I said to the boys, let’s go and see if chummy went out to the beach. There he was, lying down just where we left him, dead as a doornail. He was better dead anyway – he hadn’t guts enough to live.
When we got out with the gharries that night, instead of going back to the line, I was sent to guard the rum. It was stacked in a ravine and done around with coils and coils of barbed wire, but the flood coming down the valley from the salt lake took the pile and drove it hundreds of feet in all directions all over the hillside. Well I was up there all alone walking back and forth to see that no stragglers came along and got at it. It was still dark and raining, with thunder and lightning, when suddenly I tripped over something. I stopped and felt around – ‘twas a box of rum – two one gallon jars.
I took out my bayonet and ripped the cover off; took out the two jars, went down and threw the box in the flood. Came back, took one jar and brought it up a bit and hid it under a rock on the hillside. Took the cork out of the other one and my what a drink! I must have nearly drank a pint – I was right thirsty. Had not a real drink of anything for months, only sips of lukewarm water. I filled my water bottle, took another swig out of it and went and hid it. By that time the world was beginning to look a lovely place – no rain or thirst or lice or shells.
Quartermaster McNeil heard me singing, went in to the dugout and said to the fellows “Morry must be gone nuts – he’s singing like a lark over on the hill”. He sent over Tom Harvey and Paddy Green from Pt Verde to relieve me, but ‘twas I relieved them, and after a drink each they filled their water bottles, so I left them and went back to the dugout to strip and dry my clothes. Quartermaster McNeil was a good trump and never turned us in, though he knew we’d got at the rum. Strange to say whether ‘twas the rum or the cold weather, my dysentery began to improve right away and disappeared quite completely in a short time and I began to get my strength back again.
We were sent out to the beach in squads during the day to help clean up rifles that were left abandoned or turned in by soldiers being invalided home. We cleaned and oiled 1,000 rifles. We came out of the storm real good, lost very few men, but the London Regiment, only a few weeks there, all went sick and were taken off. The morning after the storm we had to lie on the wet frozen ground behind piles of dirt thrown up by shell bursts, and behind bushes. Everything was in an awful mess. We held practically all the line - a lot of us were from the bays and outports and most of the St John’s chaps were outside workers - used to seal hunting and all kinds of hardships.
The other troops lit small fires with coal landed from the Warships, and sat right in over them and got smoke blind, and got colds as well. We kept away from the fires and kept moving. The Turks were coming over in droves, with their hands up, but we could not handle any prisoners. We kept firing towards them and waving them back. We could have killed hundreds of them but we really did not fire at them. We would fire fifteen rounds rapid and then rub our hands up and down the barrels of our rifles to warm them.
Dave Cooper, Ralph Goff and I were behind a bush with some discarded greatcoats and things under us on the frozen ground. Ralph was cramped and continually moving around and Dave had said to him more than once, the Turks are going to see you and you’ll get hit. But poor Ralph could not keep still and finally got one in the backside, right in the soft part – never hit a bone. We took down his pants and we had quite a time of it trying to get him bandaged up, which we finally did, and he managed to crawl and get back to the dressing station on the beach. Things quieted down after a day or so, the trenches dried out, our clothes as well. The weather turned a bit warm again and we got back in our trenches and back to the old routine, except we had to hold about twice as much of the line as formerly, there were so many gone sick from the other Regiments.
Every day, General Cayley would come in the trenches and go through them with a friendly word for everyone. He asked the Officers if we could hold a few more days, and of course they said yes, and we were beginning to feel quite proud of ourselves, as well we might. I often think of these plucky kids – a lot of them under twenty. I was only 31 and one of the oldest in the regiment.
We began to think at this time there was something on the move. There were certain hours during the night we were not allowed to fire a shot, and the men that went away sick did not come back. We were also sent on patrol, between the lines night after night, setting trip bombs for any Turks that would try to come over to surrender. The poor devils were dressed in rags and some of them had sand bags wrapped around their feet. The nights were awful long and lonely now, in spite of night patrols etc. – time used to pass very slowly. We were losing an occasional man with snipers and shell fire. We had to give up the peep hole we had at ground level through the parapets and had to use periscopes to look out over, and they were getting busted up pretty often.
One sniper in particular was doing a lot of damage, but we could not find out where he was hidden, till one day after rain we saw his clothes hanging out to dry on a bunch of bushes. It was not any trouble to get a man to take your turn at the periscope that day. Everyone was watching to get a shot at him when he went to take in his wash. But just before dark we saw it disappear. He had a line around the bush and hauled it in without help. We would not have found him only he fired right in front of us when we went out that night and found his dugout all covered over with sticks and sods. He could not get out without help. I don’t know how he missed us. We threw some bombs right in the peepholes and killed him. I got his sniper’s rifle and two hundred rounds of ammunition. ‘Twas a dandy, wind gauge and telescope sight, made in America – they were supplying both sides then. I carried that rifle for miles and miles – thought I’d get it home and did pack it and send it from the peninsula, but never heard of it afterwards.
At this time we again began to lose men by snipers. One Sunday afternoon just before stand to – we were just about finished eating and a chap Dunphy from St. John’s or Placentia was sitting on the fire step at the end of our traverse, telling a yarn, when all of a sudden he stopped talking. One of the chaps said “what’s wrong with Dunphy?” We looked and he was dead with an army biscuit in his hand. There was a big oak tree out in front of the lines, and the Turks kept firing at it and the glancing bullets came in the trenches once in a while and killed or wounded someone. That night a few of us were detailed to cut it down – not a nice job, but no one got hit. We did not get any more glancing bullets.
Time passed, the sun was still hot in the middle of the day. The nights were long. Many of our chaps were gone. Once we could stand on the firing step and be shoulder to shoulder, now we were about twenty feet or more apart. You’d fire a shot, walk a few steps and fire another. We passed the time at night by watching for a flash from the Turkish lines – snap at it and then change your position and watch for another flash to fire again. I was beginning to feel stronger and stronger, had letters from home telling me I was going to be a daddy, and therefore a little more worry about Fredris my wife who had just gone home to Ferryland from Edinburgh about five months. Was worried about how she’d make out - her first baby (Phyllis Mary Morry, born April 29, 1916) and being away from home and all.
All kinds of rumours were going the rounds: we were going to England for a refit, we were going to Mesopotamia, and we were going to Cape Helles, which was true. More and more of us were taken out each day with no replacements – leaving the strongest and steadiest men in the line. Certain hours in the night no shots to be fired, and we spent a lot of time out between the lines setting booby traps and rigging rifles so they would go off at different times. We were beginning to feel the strain too. The line was very thinly held, and ‘twas only a matter of some Turk coming over and getting in the trenches. Once they saw how thinly the line was held, ‘twould be all over, for we had no reserves to bring up.
The last night came around. A large number were taken back. Only fifty left, me amongst them; at midnight Dec. 20 (1915) twenty-five of us were taken back, I just can’t remember what Officers we had or anything. But I know when I got on board ship that night I got up in a boat and had a real good sleep – woke at daylight. The last day in the trenches there must have been about a thousand Turks opposite about the fifty of us. We landed on Mudros Island (Mudros is a port on the Aegean island of Lemnos). We stayed there two days, wandering around at will, getting our meals pretty regular, till the second day when the bottom dropped out of the sky. It poured rain and we did not have shelter of any kind. Dan Moore, Harry Mifflin and I wandered off in the hills and made shelter in a pile of rocks built for a sheep corral. We built up a corner and put our rifles across, tied the bayonets together, then tied our rubber sheets over it and huddled together back to back all night – dozed off in spite of the rain and cold. Down came pouring rain and a cold NE wind. We looked down and saw our bunch milling around a fire, so we waited till we thought ‘twas lunch time, got a cup of coffee and a biscuit standing in the rain. Fell in and were marched off to a wharf where we went on board a tug called the Red Breast, from Glasgow. We were packed like sardines; sit for as long as you could for when you did stand up you were up for hours.
I fell asleep up forward among a lot of rope and gear and the first thing I heard was a shell bursting in the water near us. Cape Helles, I groaned as I awoke; all our dreams of home for a refit were finished. We landed on Cape Helles on Christmas Eve, or the day before – I cannot be sure which. But I do know we went into open dugouts and ‘twas raining like hell, and cold. We sure suffered, everyone was pretty cold and miserable, after about a week of wet weather. We had no shelter day or night. We’d put our rubber sheets under us and our wet blankets over us and crump up some way and manage to get some sleep. Xmas Eve I was one of a party detailed to go digging in the front line that night. We were on short rations, as there had not been any arrangements for food to be sent ahead of us and our transport had not yet arrived. We were as hungry as wolves.
Capt. Harold Barrett was in charge of us – he marched us out to Brigade Headquarters to draw picks and shovels. It was a pretty dark night and he gave us a stand easy right beside a ration dump. While he went looking for the Officer in charge someone soon discovered where we were and ‘twas not long before there were canned puddings, dates prunes, Huntley and Palmers biscuits and bread that we hadn’t seen for months. When the corporal came back we fell in two deep; when he gave us a right turn to march off he noticed something bulky on one of the men’s backs. Jellie Walsh (now doctor Walsh) (identity unknown) had secured a sandbag and had plum puddings, canned tongue etc. (Officer’s stores) unfortunately for us. We were halted and reformed two deep – now and then you’d hear a thud in the grass behind us. I got clear of my loaf and two packs of biscuits, but had the full of the legs of my trousers of dates and prunes and was quite innocent looking when they searched us.
Anyway, instead of digging we were all arrested and marched back to our lines. Christmas morning – case dismissed by General Cayley, who laughed when we were brought up before him and charged. He said ‘twas against human nature to fall out a bunch of half-starved men on a ration dump and not to raid it! He was always our friend. He liked us and called us his boys.
We were in open dugouts about two miles from the coast in Cape Helles and suffered from wet and cold and frostbite, and jaundice was raging amongst us. I did not get it, but nearly everyone had it. We were still on short rations but we found a means of fixing that. The British regiments had big ovens a mile or so away, and every evening after nightfall a few of us would steal out to where they were sending out truck loads of this bread to the troops each night. As they came to the top of the hill, the Turks opened fire on them, and the drivers nearly always stopped their trucks and made shelter till the shelling was over. We were sometimes on the trucks even before they stopped to run for shelter as they were going right slow when nearing the top of the hill and we always got away with some bread and many a time a box of prunes. I often filled the legs of my trousers with them. I gave lots of them to Sergeant Harold Mitchell and Sergeant Walter Greene, who were both very sick with jaundice.
They were sent off before the evacuation. All of our Sergeants and some of the Officers knew we were stealing these stores, but they played the game and kept silent. I don’t know how the other Regular army men in our brigade fared, for they would not steal and they only got the same rations as us. But the British had very small appetites; we were gluttons compared to them – always hungry and on the scrounge as far as food was concerned.
Before I go any further, I must tell you of the treatment we got for dysentery. For myself, I’d fall in on sick parade, get a needle in the arm, and an egg cup full of castor oil (ugh) which only made me feel worse. After a couple of weeks of that treatment, I’d keep it in my mouth till I got outside the tent and then spit it out. One day the doctor caught me, and called me back and gave me another egg cup full. Always after that he’d ask me a question, and I’d have to answer him and swallow it. Then he’d say “no bully beef, no stew, no jam, no bacon”, which was all we did get. We were supposed to get milk, bread, oatmeal and other food. But whoever got it, we did not.
The same applied to the jaundice patients. They looked horrible – their eyes were as yellow as saffron and so was their skin. Eyes sunken, cheeks hollow and lips drawn back from the teeth; just awful, poor devils. I forgot to mention how really bad our men were with dysentery, jaundice and fever and still stay on active duty while at least one of our doctors at home were turning down men physically fit for $25.00 up. Chan Freebairn and a chap Soper – two chums of mine were very sick. One night I was sent out to the hospital on the beach with Chan. We walked, I delivered him at the hospital - it took us two hours to walk two miles. The last of it I had to carry him; he died the next day (records indicate 23 October, 1915).
One night we were sent out digging a trench and Soper was detailed to go with us. When we got out there the Sergeant made a comfortable place for him to lie down, while we were digging. When we were coming in Ted Winter and I went to get him. We shook him – thought he was asleep – but he was dead. We brought him in. At first we thought he had been shot by a sniper, but no, he just pegged out, poor fellow. (records indicate 29 December, 1915)
To get back to the story again, after a while in supports we were watching an attack on our troops one afternoon by the Turks away up in the hills, but ‘twas soon beaten off. At last one morning we were ordered to fall in and get ready to go to the beach and unload stores. So we left about ten at a time in extended order. We had about two miles of exposed ground to go over, before we got down over the cliff to shelter. While we were waiting for our turn, we watched those who went before us. You’d see shells burst around them, then you would not see them with smoke and dust for a while. The shrapnel was also bursting overhead. Then it came to our turn and away we went. Though there were lots of shells and shrapnel burst all around us, we hadn’t a casualty when we were leaving. Capt. Rowsell gave me a bag with 48 tins of Mackenzie’s (?) rations in it to bring along with all my own gear. I didn’t bring it far. He must have thought I was a mule to give me that much extra weight, especially as I was just getting over dysentery. Anyway, the Sergeant gave us the double to get out of shell fire, and I managed to lose the rations in the bustle. I never was asked about them afterwards. Rowsell must have forgotten them.
When we got out to the beach we were put in dugouts formerly occupied by Greek labourers, and they were actually alive with fleas. The cold weather had seemed to put an end to the lice, but the fleas were much worse. The dugouts were in the face of the cliff and could be commanded by the guns from Anzac where the Aussies had evacuated. They were in three tiers. The roof of the lowest made a walk in front of the one higher up. We worked three shifts loading ammunition and stuff on board the ships laying long side the River Clyde – the ship which along with several others were sunk to make a harbour. There was always a man on watch, and when Asiatic Annie, the big Turkish gun on the other side of the Strait fired, he saw the flash and blew a horn, and you had while you’d count to twenty-seven to get shelter. There were holes dug in the front of the cliff for that purpose.
There were other gangs loading the Officers’ stores and when we were detailed for that job we were delighted and lived like kings for a week or so. There were oil heaters there and tins of oil and we managed to sneak a few of these to our billets. They were being taken off anyway. Then there was flour, lard, raisins, baking powder etc. and we managed to get quite a supply of these and had many a meal of pancakes. There were lots of canned meats, ham etc., boxes of biscuits and about a hundred cases of whiskey. It was hard to steal, but in our section we had some good fellows for hiding things away, and late at night a bunch would go off in the dark to bring back what had been hidden in the day. Things went very well till some fellows turned up for work drunk. Then there was a closer watch and a guard was put on in the night. After a night or two, we got our fellows who were picked for guard to sneak out a few cases. After a few days there was a leak again and then they decided to smash what liquor was left. Even then we got an occasional one. We had to open the cases and break the bottles one by one. Unless they watched very close, we could leave a bottle or so in a case now and then, and pick them up at night. We sure began to pick up and get strong – lots of food and shelter.
We lost a few men from shell fire from the Anzac side where the Turks had moved some big guns. One afternoon ‘twas C Company’s cook house orderly that day. He was in the cookhouse only about ten feet away from us – we were swapping the latest “latrine official” – going back to England for a refit etc. – when we heard the big one coming. I threw myself down, but Bob never ducked and lost his head as the result of a direct hit with a big shell and was killed instantly. About a half hour later we were told to get ready to leave at nightfall. In the meantime, I with a half dozen others were told to bury Bob. I thought then what hard luck he had to be killed just before we left. I had reason to change my mind – different times afterward. We put him on a stretcher and went off to bury him. There was a large open pit there all ready. Three privates were buried together on a kind of slope one above the other. Then they were covered with clay and lime. When he was buried we hurried back to our dugouts and found our men fell in all ready to march.
I was sent off to headquarters with a message. It was quite dark then. I had to go around a corner of a cliff we called Hell’s Corner as it was nearly always under fire (shell). We would wait around the corner till ‘twould calm down and then rush round it. There were two huge water tanks about two or three hundred feet from each other. I was just around it when a Regiment of Scottish soldiers marching down to the wharf came along. They were four deep and I thought what a mess if they start shelling, and just then I heard the first one coming. I rushed over and crawled under the nearest tank. The troops scattered and there was an awful three minutes till the shelling stopped.
‘Twas pitch dark – not a soul in sight. I heard groans and rushed out on the road and grabbed a man and hauled him in shelter. He was a Sub Lieutenant and was hit in the shoulder. I was just starting to bandage him when I heard another groan and heard a voice saying “oh my poor wife and children”. I saw at once he was badly hit, because when I went to lift him, I got all covered with blood. He was a big man, and when bringing him in I trod on a rock and turned my ankle. I was scared as hell while I was trying to get him in that they would start shelling again, but I made it just in time.
The little Sub was yelling his head off for me to bandage him and he showed me where about to get his knapsack and there was a flask of brandy in it and a flashlight. I found them. I was shaking like a leaf for the shells were coming as thick as the lawyers in hell. However, I gave chummy a drink then went with the flashlight to the other chap, but he was gone – his troubles were over. The little Officer boy was still yelling like hell when I went to bandage him. I took a good lick out of his flask to steady my nerves and got him bandaged. He asked me where the flask was. I told him I dropped it, and so I did, but ‘twas empty. Now he wanted me to bring him to the beach. I said “no, you can walk, and just about fifty feet you are around the corner and safe”. He told me he’d report me, and I told him to go ahead, as I had to obey orders and go where I was sent. Just then the stretcher bearers came and I limped along with my message.
(Once before, Hal Roper and I were sent round that corner for water. We had waited till we thought the shelling was over, and while we were talking and deciding which tank we’d go to, the shelling started again. We made for shelter and we scattered – the first shell hit right close to where we had been standing and when ‘twas all over there was no sign of him – nothing but a big hole in the ground. I got the water and went back and reported Roper being killed. The Captain laughed – “Roper has been in about fifteen minutes and reported you being blown up”. Seems when we heard the shell and ran, he went to the other tank and got his water there.)
To go on again – to the wharf – I found our fellows had gone on board. But the MLO saw me trying to get on board with the other troops and ordered me back. ‘Twas near 11 p.m. then and beginning to blow pretty hard, so I tried again and nearly made it, when a Sergeant bawled out “what mob do you belong to?” and he said go back to them. And I told him they were gone long before, but he would not listen to me, so back I went again, and it was about ten minutes more before I got away. It was getting pretty rough and the wharves were smashing up. And being quite lame by this time I decided to dump my pack and equipment or I’d never make it. So I unbuckled the pack and pitched it in the sea. I had all I could do to get on board. The weight I threw away would certainly have drowned me. I don’t know what ship it was, there were French and British troops on her. I went below, got in a berth an RAMC guy fixed up for me and I tell you I slept – never woke for hours and hours. We landed on Imbros or Mudros Island, I don’t know which, and stayed with a French battalion that night. Next two days I spent with Highland regiments. They found out where our boys were and I was told where to find them. On the third morning I set off quite light as my pack with blankets and rubber sheet was gone – just had my ammunition and rifle. Got to the Battalion at 2 p.m. and found a lot of mail there for me, and among them a letter telling me I was going to be a daddy, which set me wondering if I’d get back to see it.
After a few days we boarded a ship and went right down through the Suez Canal to Port Tawfiq on the Indian Ocean end of the canal. We were camped about four or five miles in on the desert. I forget the date we evacuated Cape Helles. I think it was about the eighth or ninth of January. We could get out to Port Tawfiq once every two days, though most of us did not bother as there was not much to see and we did not have too much energy anyway.
Our parcel mail arrived while we were there, and we had lots of nice things – chocolate bars, butter, cakes, home-made jam, in fact, all kinds of eatables and smokes. Our own parcels were gone after a week or so, but our chums who were dead or gone back, discharged, or to hospitals all over, had parcels and we knew they’d want us to have them. So it was Cape Helles all over again. Each company had a fellow go out to the big dump where the parcels were all piled and the sentry would conveniently turn his back. We’d take a few parcels and divide them among our fellows in the camp and bury the wrappings and trash in the sand.
The Ghurkha troops were camped near us and we and the Aussies were good friends with them. So friendly that when the Gyppos in the canteen there charged us too much, they raided the canteen at night and thus got in trouble for our sake. Some of them were tied to gun wheels and left in the sun with their hands tied behind their backs. Pretty cruel we thought, because the flies were thick all over them. Some of our fellows stole down and cut them clear and were caught doing it and four of our boys were tied with them next day. We protested to the officers, but it was no use. So a bunch made a rush and cut them free and some more of our boys began taking photographs of them and that turned the trick. Our Colonel now was Hadow, a son of a bitch who was over troops in India all his life. Thought common soldiers were dogs or something. But we taught him different. We had a song about him:
“I’m Hadow, some Ladow, I just got off the staff;
I’m in charge of the First Newfoundlands, They know it not half,
I’ll march them, I’ll drill them, I’ll make the beggars sweat,
I’m Hadow, some Ladow, I’ll be a General yet.”
We would sing this on route marches, when we got march easy. He sure hated our guts, and ‘twas mutual, but there was not a thing he could do about it. He gave us very long route marches over the desert and we, being worn out from Gallipoli, were not able to take it. He was very unpopular; the men did not like him like to other COs or General Cayley, who was our idol. We were a close-knit bunch and would back one another up in everything. When we were on night patrol, or on any kind of a do, you could all depend on your chums on your right and left not to fall back and leave you in the lurch. I’ll bet there was never a bunch of soldiers since the world began so united. It was share and share alike.
Some of our boys and a bunch of Aussies and Regulars got into some kind of a scrap one Sunday afternoon in Port Tawfiq. I remember a bunch of us were lying around reading, writing etc. when one of our boys rushed in and said scatter boys – there is a hell of a do out in Port Tawfiq between the troops of the different Regiments, with our fellows and the Aussies siding each other, and the authorities are sending for help. This chap was in the orderly room when the order came and he beat it to spread the news right away, and we made ourselves scarce in a hurry. ‘Twas an awful racket while it lasted, and we were lucky to be out of it, as there were lots of broken limbs and lengthy punishment out of it.
After a few weeks here we boarded a ship for France, I don’t remember her name. While we were waiting to board her we were very much interested in watching them load camels for Mesopotamia. And we thought of the nice rest and lots of sleep we were going to get on shipboard. Sez you! First thing after roll call, a certain number of us were called to fall in, in full marching order, and we were made to march round and round the deck for a full hour – our feet ached something awful, and many were the curses bestowed on Hadow. And many of the men got flat and blistered feet, so after a few days, much to his disgust, the doctor advised him to discontinue the march.
Next stop, Marseilles. What a place, and what girls. They looked good to us after Egypt and the Dardanelles. There were bog high gates at the end of the wharf, with long iron bars, and the girls on one side and we on the other. Sure got in a lot of kissing etc through the bars before the Officers were wise. I was one of four detailed to go with Sergeant Joe McKinley to the prison there to bring back four deserters from the Dublin Fusiliers to our train and back to be court-martialed when we reached our divisional headquarters. Just as we went out through the gates the girls mobbed us – souvenir, souvenir was all you could hear and a lovely pair of bare arms around your neck and breasts against you. When some girl got a real chance to get a good kiss and hug at you needless to say we did not get far. Then the Sergeant decided to try to get back to the wharf again, minus any button, badge or anything movable we had about us. We were lucky to be able to hold our rifles and bayonets as one of our boys had his braces and belt and entrenching tools gone and had to use one hand to keep his trousers up.
We finally got back and Donnelly read the riot act to us; we said nothing – we were glad to be inside the gates again. And we had the pleasure of seeing Captain Donnelly going out and waving his stick with a detail of six - somehow he seemed to frighten them a bit and he made good headway till a lovely got her arms around him and did a good job of kissing him, while others relieved him of his cap and badges, buttons etc. His men, do doubt profiting by our experience, did not turn up for three days, and were the envy of all of us for weeks to come, and did their punishment with a perpetual grin on their faces. Donnelly! Well I don’t know – sometimes the Private gets the best of things.
We travelled in cattle cars from Marseilles to the Somme. Stand as long as you could and then sit and doze – no room to lie down. They put us off the train in billets – old barns half blown down. No fires, and we still in khaki drill shorts. In the billet I was in there was some straw in the loft – we got it down and lit a fire on the concrete floor, spread some over and under us and got a good sleep.
(This part relates to earlier sections, and was written as an aside in the notebook): The storm of Nov. 24 lasted two days – rain and snow and frost and we in khaki drill shorts. I really don’t know how we lived through it. We’d wrap our wet blankets around us to keep warm. When we left Suvla on the 20th of December, Sunday at 12 midnight, Harry Mifflin, Ned Edgar, Dan Moore and I came out together, there were still 25 of our men left in there as a rear guard for four or five hours. It was an awful lonely, anxious time for the last four days in there and each night was worse than the previous – with less and less men each night. When we got out to the beach there were quite a lot of men still around, not making a sound. It would be quite bright when the moon shone between the clouds and shone on the water – reminded me of nights home. At last we got on board and fell asleep at once. I woke in time to see them turn the guns on the pile of stores. They made a wonderful display once they got under way. Especially the sugar and bacon - they made a great bonfire, and the Turks running down to the beach to salvage what they could made a fine target for the guns of the ships.
Well, to carry on again, in the morning we started off for the front line. We marched as far as Louvencourt and were billeted there for a few days. Then we went to Beaumont Hamel – Angle Belmore (Englebelmer) and Auchon Villers (Auchonvillers) were quite near and Anselme, another village, a few miles away. We started bringing in shells to the front line at night, and drilled and got acquainted with gas attacks and fire from stokes guns, liquid fire etc. and all the other horrors so that we would know what to do when we got up against the real thing.
I’ll always remember the first night we went in the trenches in France. It was dark, snowing a little and freezing a little, and to make it worse, about 18 inches of water with a scum of ice on it. By the time we slugged in to our part of the line, we were chilled to the bone. No one can imagine the suffering in the trenches – wet to the knees and cold from standing in the water, then get up on the fire step for a while, where your feet could warm up for a bit.
We stood on the fire step, looking over, two together for an hour at a time. You’d change each half hour to make sure none of the sentries would fall asleep. The routine was an hour on the fire step, an hour filling sand bags. Lovely. Personally, I got on all the patrols I could wangle. Listening patrol, reconnoitring patrol, and bombing patrol. When on night patrol you could sleep down in the dugouts almost all day and besides you had a chance of getting a “cushy” (slight) wound at night and get back to hospital for a while.
The weather was wet and the ground soggy for a month or so. We were kept pretty busy. But when we got out for a rest once a fortnight for two or three days, we could get wine, beer and champagne to drink, and many a “time” in Aschu (Acheux) especially. About fifty of us in a big dugout having a great time – it was well protected with sandbags. And now and then between the sings and arguments you’d hear the thud of a shell down the street. But most of us were quite relaxed over a bottle or game of cards, or some fellow rattling up an old “Come All Ye”.
About this time I got trench fever and was pretty miserable. All one got was medicine and duty. It was some hell stumbling around in the cold and wet and in a fever all the time. I went out on a lot of reconnoitring patrols at this time and also listening patrols, and in bombing posts out in the ends of the Saps. Our duties were to steal around no man’s land, work along the enemy’s wire to see if there were any gaps out in it, to see and report anything you heard or saw.
Listening patrol – you’d go out to the end of the Sap – a straight trench dug towards the enemy line, sometimes as far as two hundred yards into no man’s land. Then we’d extend to the right and left so many paces between each man till you’d joined up with the chaps from the other Saps. Lie down and watch and listen lest the enemy would try to make a night attack on our lines.
The bombing patrol would go out between the lines looking for trouble. If you met a German patrol there would be a fight. If not, we’d go over near the German lines and chuck in a few bombs where they’d do the most good. ‘Twas a dangerous job, because as soon as the first bomb went, both sides opened up on no man’s land and it was a mass of shell bursts as well as machine gun fire and rifle fire. All one could do was to get down in a deep shell hole and wait till the fire died down before you’d try to get back to our own lines again.
The star shells from both sides would make no man’s land as bright as day. If they burst near you, the only chance you had was to stay in the position you were in; if you moved at all you had it. A guy could think of a lot nicer places to be when he was on any of these patrols. Every empty can you kicked sounded like a bell and if you tripped in a bunch of wire, or disturbed a bunch of rats feasting on some poor dead devil, you were so keyed up you’d think the noise could be heard for miles - an awful strain on the nerves.
I remember one foggy night on the Somme, going out as guide with an English Captain who wanted to explore about a mile of the German wire. ‘Twas as dark as hell, and we were walking slowly side by side for a while. Then he decided we should crawl (lovely) especially if you put your hand on a rusty can or a piece of barbed wire, or worse still on a corpse or part of one – then you’d smell your hand for a week afterwards. Anyway, when we were a little more than half way, he asked me if we were astray and I said “no sir, we still have a long way to go”. But he was a bit doubtful and wanted to go in a different direction, but I told him we were right. At last we came to the wire and after feeling along by it for some time, he said “this is our wire, let’s stand up and hail them”. “Wait sir, there’s a light ahead – let’s crawl there”. Sure enough, here were three or four Germans talking away – he sure got a fright. We stole away after a little time and got back through the mud and fog to our own lines.
The trenches at that time were very wet and muddy - nearly always a foot or so of water and wet mud in them. The duck boards would float up pretty often when it came to rain. ‘Twas lovely walking through the trenches, especially if the fellow ahead of you stepped on the far end of a duck board and you struck your shin off the other end as it floated up. Our feet and legs got chilled with the cold water and a lot of fellows got trench feet and were sent back. The cold of the water kept the blood from circulating in the feet and legs. We were issued with seal oil to rub our feet and legs to keep them from soaking water. What a stink – another thing to make us feel more miserable than before, if that were possible.
All this time those weeks I was in a kind of haze – I could not remember anything distinctly. Just do my patrols at night, and sleep and sentry duty in the day. When in the supports we would be bringing ammunition and rations to the front line, and digging sunken roads etc. Some days I was not able to go, so I just lay under a sheet of corrugated iron which covered a hole in the side of the trench my buddy Harold Andrews had dug. He would leave me his water bottle when he went away digging. When he came back they would both be empty – a half gallon of water. That is the way it went for a week or so. I reported sick, but neither the doctor or the Red Cross guys came near me, till one day Harold reported me to Lieutenant Cliff Rendell who quickly got me to a field hospital. He was killed a short time after – he was a good Officer and man. I got back to the line in a few days time. He came along one day when we were off duty in the supports and I was boiling some bacon and cabbage in my steel helmet, and Harold was washing in his. “Live and learn” said Lieutenant Rendell. “Old soldiers, sir” said Harold.
After a few days I was back in the line again – back to the usual routine. I felt a little better. Our engineers were now mining under the German line and we had to bring up all the clay at night in sandbags. A heck of a job it was – wet chalk. We had to bring it along the tunnel and up twenty-two steps to the trench and dump it. When it dried it was snow white and where we dumped it was called the White City. We had acres of it, and the Germans must have known where it came from, as there was no way to hide it. At intervals during the day and night, all work stopped on the tunnel and Engineers went in with sound detectors, to find if the Germans were under us, which they were, in some places. A very nice thought to know you did not know what minute we were going up.
We did a lot of training now, when we went out for a rest. Going through a gas full chamber with our gas masks on and drilling with them on. After a half hour of it you’d sell your soul for a breath of fresh air. These masks were a very crude affair – a bag shaped thing with two glasses to look through and a tube with rubber on the end of it through which you could breathe out OK but not in. And when you had the thing buttoned under your tunic, the only air you could get was through your clothes, and the chemical cloth of the mask.
Word passing gave the officers much trouble and us fellows much amusement. We were in the open, drilling in extended formation, lying down six paces from one another. When you’d get the message you’d roll or crawl out to the chap next to you and deliver the message you got. One I can remember – our Sergeant was on the left of the line and the officer on the right sent this order “open rapid fire at the house on the left and prepare to advance”. When it came over to our end it was “can you lend me three or four pence I am going to a dance”. You can easily understand why the advance was a failure! The officer tried to find out where the change was made, but could not pin it down to any one in particular. That evening we had to listen to a long talk on the seriousness of changing a message. After that the messages came along pretty good.
The weather was bad – rain, wet snow, frost and in the line ‘twould break your heart standing hour after hour in that cold mud and water. I tried to get on night patrol every night and keep clear of trench duty. On patrol when you came in you’d get from six to eight hours in the dugout and you could rest and sleep, about thirty feet underground. ‘Twas damp and the pumps were pretty nearly always going up top, pumping the water out and fresh air in. But ‘twas safe down there; you could hear, or rather feel the continuous roar of the guns overhead and the pounding of bursting shells muffled by the earth.
And fellows crawling in over you with their muddy boots did not worry you the least bit. We were so used to misery and dirt by this time that we were more like animals than humans. There was two things kept us going: hunger and the will to live in spite of it all. Rats gave us a lot of trouble down there too. But they also helped us out in the food line. We’d eat all our biscuits in our emergency ration kit and bring up a badly-eaten up bag to prove that the rats ate it. “‘twas said that the rats were a lot fonder of Newfie rations than they were of those of the Regulars. “I wonder why?” one officer wanted to know. “We all have the same rations, yet the Newfies have to have theirs renewed every second day.”
One lovely Sunday afternoon, we were sitting in our bay in the trench. Paul Druken was looking out through the periscope. Leo DeLacey, Harold Mifflin, Harold Andrews, Willis White, Louis Head and I were enjoying the sun and yarning off. ‘Twas about four in the afternoon. Lieutenant Grant came to pick out some men for listening and reconnoitring patrols for the night. Abe Myers was coming along with a message for the Lieut. and the Lieut. asked the Serg. if he was a good man. DeLacey broke in “I don’t know if he’s a good man but he’s the devil to jump” (he was shell shocked). He was about ten feet down the dugout in a second. He had heard the shell coming long before any of us. Grant went to see where he had gone when the shell burst and a big piece of it hit him. He just lived long enough to tell Harry Mifflin who to write to. He took the ring off his finger too and told him where to send that and he said there are a few pounds in my pocketbook – “take it and when you go out drink to my memory”, which we did. He was a good officer and well liked by the men.
About an hour after that we were all seated on the fire step eating our supper, when a big shell burst ten or fifteen yards in front of the trench, and blew the body of a Sergeant of the Monmouths in on top of us in bits. We had buried him there about a week before. We were all covered with bits of rotten human flesh and every one of us began to vomit and kept it up the whole night. In fact, ‘til we got new uniforms we could smell it for days afterward. We had to put on our gas masks to re inter him. They gave our front line an awful dusting with high explosive for days and it kept us busy filling sand bags. We were withdrawn to the second line and stayed in dugouts there; and a few at a time did duty in the front line.
Next day we were there in a dugout and Joe Crane was entertaining us with some “Come All Ye’s”. He was singing Garry’s Docks – a song about a logger called Young Monroe, when the call came for stretcher bearers. A machine gun crew had got a direct hit. I remember one of the crew, Joe Sheehan, was an Armenian or something – he could speak and read Turkish. He was hit in the leg. Joe Crane was killed on the way out, and never got to finish Garry’s Docks. We had an Eskimo, Johnny Shiwack (actually Shiwak), with us now. He was a sniper, and a good one. He was shy and lonely, but I got to be quite friendly with him by talking of seal and duck hunting etc. We’d talk for hours and often he’d say “will it ever be over?” He was a great shot and had a lot of notches on his rifle stock. He said sniping was like watching for seals. He also was killed afterwards.
We sometimes had brigade concerts behind the lines when we were in France, where Tommy Morrissey’s singing of Darby’s Rum and Paddy McGinty’s goat were always good for an encore. We did pretty well as regards drinks – there was beer better than Egyptian, different kinds of wine, and champagne which was only five francs a bottle. So sometimes we could relax and forget the misery – we’d get to loosen up our nerves again.
We often stayed at Louvencourt, and the people of that village looked after the graves of our dead. I remember the 28th of June, 1916 when we (at least, the RCs of the regiment) received Holy Communion in the church there. There were over three hundred of us in the churchyard. There were quite a number of graves of young Frenchmen from 18 to 21 killed in August 1914. The women and girls in church cried quite openly in the church; I expect we reminded them of their own sons and brothers and husbands and loved ones who had been killed. When we marched off to the front line they lined the streets and waved to us. A few days after, there were only very few of our Battalion left.
It’s strange how some chaps seemed to know they were not coming back from the drive that we knew we were for in a day or so. I’ll give three instances I know:
Mike Flynn (O’Flynn actually), a lovely kid from Central Newfoundland, wrote about a dozen letters that night. I asked him what he wrote so many for, and he said there were the last he’d write. He seemed like a man in a dream, or a doomed man. I tried to jolly him along, but he seemed like he could not throw off the depression that was on him.
The second case was from Jimmy Howard. He said “the bullet that kills me kills two”. Strange to say, his mother died a few days after she heard the news he was killed.
The third was Joe Penny (Penney actually) of Carbonear, who was engaged to my sister. That evening he came to me with a letter and a ring and said “give these to Trixie (Beatrice Mary Morry, born Sept. 22, 1888; married to Louis J. Giovannetti, June 07, 1923) when you get home”. I said “why not keep them, you’ll see her as soon as I will.” But he said “no, I’m not going back”. He was also killed; a fine chap - he could have been discharged, but would not take it.
About this time we made a raid on the German lines to take prisoners and get some information. Those taking part in it had been well fed and drilled for weeks, so they knew just what they had to do. The raid was a success in one way: they killed a lot of men and took the uniforms off them, and thus found out what Regiments were facing us. Fred Neil Frederick O’Neil actually) got a military medal for throwing back a line bomb that fell amongst our men. He lost most of his hand, but he saved a lot of our men.
Another of our chaps, Philips by name (George Gordon Phillips) jumped down among a whole trench full of Germans. All that our chaps could hear were screeches and groans from the trench. They had to leave him there, but he turned up the next evening all rags and blood and wounds. Seems he must have cleared the whole trench and got out and hid in a shell hole till next evening.
The weather was still very wet and cold. We did a lot of drilling; when we were out for a rest and manoeuvres, bombing and so on. Between whiles we got an hour or so in the estamints (Estaminet-French cafe selling wine, beer and coffee; or cottage with bar-room) and got a few bottles of wine or champagne and forgot our troubles for a while. At night we brought shells and other gear in to the front line. One night a bunch of us going in with ammunition got astray in the fog and dark and went right under our own big 14 inch guns before we realized where we were. They fired just as we were in front of them, and one of my buddies, Paddy Greene from Point Verde was made stone deaf. We got back out of it in a hurry and found we had gone to the rear instead of to where the smaller guns were, just behind our lines.
We had an awful lot of wet weather and ‘twas sure miserable creeping along on the wet ground on patrols and nearly up to our knees in mud in the trenches. I often think of Robert Service’s poem – we’ll hunger and thirst, and die, but first we’ll by the Gods we’ll live. For it’s a great experience to be able to look back at and know the friendship of men who you could depend on to stand by you to the last – a friendship you don’t know in civil life.
After all the preparations for the big advance were ready, we were expecting every day to get the order to go. On the night of the 19th or 30th – I’m not sure – I do think we were in the line a day or so before the advance, we marched in at night anyway, and I remember the songs we sang as we marched in before we got near the line: There’s a Little Grey Home in the West; The Long, Long Trail A Winding to the Land of My Dreams; When the Great Red Dawn is Shining; When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose; Back Home on the Farm; Good Bye Rachel; and On a Moonlight Promenade; and others I forget.
On the 30th of June we were all briefed to our part in the next day’s attack. I was among the ones detailed for bringing up the rations as the troops advanced. We were to be right behind them with the food. As there was no advance, we never left the trenches except to go back and forth to headquarters with messages and feed the very few that got back. Very few indeed, with the ration parties and others that did not go over the top, there were only 67 or 68 answered the roll call that evening, only 16 in our C Company - very, very few out of over 800 that went over. Neither Officer in our Company and only one non-com.
Me being senior private – I was leading patrols and doing Sergeants’ work for weeks after. I would not take stripes – too much trouble and worry. Some of my buddies wanted me to and said I’d be sorry, and I was, for when the reinforcements came, the new NCOs favoured their own and gave us old vets the dirty end of the stick. And I was just about taking them when I got sick with trench fever again. The Captains (Rowsell and Donnelly) told me I’d be Sergeant in a month or less. When I came back from the field hospital both these men had been killed.
The morning of the first of July was lovely, once the ground fog lifted. But the advance that was scheduled for 7 am did not take place till 9 am. The Officers all synchronized their watches and then began counting “9 minutes to go”, “8 minutes to go”, and so on. Each minute seems an eternity. By and by the Officers said “this is it boys, up we go” and in a minute there were only the ration parties and a few others left in the line. The very minute they went over all hell broke loose, the Germans sure were ready and waiting. You could see nothing but shell bursts, and men and sods and everything going up in the air. The machine guns were mowing them down. My cousin Victor Carew from Cape Broyle and I got up to go on with the rations and only had gone a few yards when the Officer called us back. ‘Twas all over. We knew then that the Regiment had been wiped out and the advance was a failure.
That morning we were vexed because we had been detailed for rations, but after the first few minutes we saw how lucky we had been. We were glad to be back in the line again. The first of the ration party to be killed was Quigley from St. John’s. He had not gone ten feet. We brought him in at dusk.
The supports and communication trenches were all levelled with shell fire. We made shelter in the deepest part of the trenches we could find. There were very few places not blown down. The ground between the lines was all smoking and shell holes, and the groans and cries of the wounded were not nice to hear.
The wounded began dragging themselves in and crawling in now, and at night time. The front trench was crowded with wounded. They would watch for their chance - and often a big shell burst that would throw up a lot of dust - they’d crawl a few yards. The shell fire died down before noon, but the rifle and machine gun fire continued as the Germans sniped any wounded soldier they saw moving. I saw a few of my buddies that crawled in, and these were some awful looking wounds.
At about 2 pm Martin Kent and I were sent out to headquarters to bring in a draft of 13 men that had just arrived. And what a sight it was for these poor devils of kids fresh from home. When we came to the first dead lying around and then the field hospital, with hundreds and hundreds lying around, and the doctors and Red Cross guys with their white suits blood all over, some of the kids got sick, others began to sweat and one kid turned and ran away. We let him go and never reported him, except to say he was missing; he came back three days afterward and was a real good soldier. Poor kid.
Well, the Sub in charge of the draft was a dilly. I won’t mention his name – and kept ignoring our advice about taking shelter now and then, and lying down when we wanted him to, and worst of all, most of the men followed him, and we could do nothing about that. What we had learned about things through experience, meant nothing to him – he knew it all. The result: 6 out of 13 killed going in, the little officer guy among them. I didn’t give a damn about him. In fact, Martin and I laughed when we hauled what was left of him out of a shell hole. We were glad to be rid of him, and we got the seven in safely.
After that, I was sent out with dispatches to bring in Capt M. Somers (Summers actually) and Co Q M Cleary and as we were going down the communication trench, which was right open to shell and rifle fire, and machine gun fire as well, I was leading and would run from shelter to shelter, but Somers and Cleary walked as if they were going down Princess Street. Needless to say neither one of them arrived, both were killed, unnecessarily, I think (Summers is officially listed as dying July 16 of wounds received on July 1). I reported to Colonel Hadow and he was sorry to hear of their deaths, as they were both good men.
The cries and groans of the wounded died down and things were so quiet it was almost unearthly coming on nightfall - the quiet after the noise and horror of the day. We got field glasses from the Officers about an hour before night, to try and see where we could hear the wounded in the shell holes crying for help and set down the direction we thought they were in. At night we were sent out to try to bring in the wounded. The gaps we had cut in the wire for our advance were piled with our dead in all shapes and forms – an awful sight to see. We had to climb over the dead to go out for the wounded.
My buddies at this job for a while were Leo DeLacey and afterwards Charlie Parsons. We brought in a good many wounded. It was hard to find them at night as they were calling on and off through the day, but as soon as night fell, they kept quiet. One of them told us that as soon as night fell the Germans came out and bayoneted the wounded. It was not a nice job climbing into a shell hole and feeling around among the dead to see if there was anyone alive there. It was awful to feel the chill of the dead when you laid your hand on any exposed part of the body of the dead man.
We went almost over to the German line and ‘twas nerve racking to see the star shells and flares go up from the German lines and keeping still till they died down, jumping into and lying down in the shell holes when there would be a burst of machine gun and rifle fire which would generally last two or three minutes. When ‘twas over, we’d all start off again. After we could not find any more wounded, we started bringing in the dead. But we were pretty exhausted and stunned by what had happened to us. After a few hours we were called in and told to go down in the dugouts and get a rest and sleep. If the Germans had to attack that night they’d have gone right through, as the 29th Division was held by only a very few exhausted men.
We stayed in the lines for five days and got reinforcements of fifty or sixty men. We left to go out for a rest on the morning of the fifth, I think it was. What a day that was – memories of all the kids you had lived with in heat and cold and wet in the trenches, on patrols and raids etc. - all gone. You did not know how many were killed. We were not marching, just dragging along, when some of the Officers got a few cheap accordions and put one in the front, one in the centre, and one behind in the rear. They struck up The Banks of Newfoundland, and what a change. We all woke up and marched like conquerors.
Next day we were in billets again; we got a night’s sleep, a wash, clean clothes and best of all we went to a delousing place. We were nearly skinned from scratching. And the thought of a bath and clean clothes was something to look forward to. We were formed up in platoons of about fifty men at a time, and were marched into the yard where we stopped and tied our clothes in a bundle, put our names on them and passed them in through a wicket where they were taken and put in a drier or something. Then we were all crowded into a room as thick as we could stow. The floor was all holes and the disinfectant sprayed down on us for a few minutes; we tried to wash ourselves. There was about an inch of muddy water on the floor – you might call it mud – after all the dirt and lice that had collected on us over months came off.
After a few minutes we were all herded out in the open to dry ourselves, and a new bunch went in. In the meantime, the windows were packed with laughing girls seeing what they could see. It’s not often a gal gets a front seat and a chance of a hundred naked men standing in a line. Some of us were shy and modest, but some were not and I expect some of the girls were uneasy for a time.
We got our clothes after a long wait and sorted them out. We put them in tied up tidy, but anyone that had not marked his clothes was out of luck, as the gals must have mixed them up deliberately so they could watch the fun. Personally, I got my own tunic, but trousers that would not fit a boy of ten. Eventually we got sorted out and we were marched off to our billets feeling quite fresh again. But that feeling did not last long unless you had Blue Ointment to rub under your arms etc. to kill the lice as soon as the eggs were hatched.
We got paid – there was lots of beer and wine and champagne in the village. We spent a few lovely days there getting refitted and drilled a few hours each day. To hear the old songs of home – a real rest - after an hour or so we’d be quite relaxed and happy again. I often wonder how the chaps who would not drink at all got by. I never was real fond of liquor, but over there I liked it, for relaxation, to get out of yourself, to forget.
We were at Louvencourt at this time. The mail came and we had letters from home. The mail was always looked forward to and read over and over and talked about, and then you’d wonder if you’d be alive when the next mail comes. I often think of people who did not write their sons or brothers or husbands very often. If they could only see the look of disappointment on the faces of their loved ones.
The mail came on the 28th of June - a day before we went in for the July drive. A buddy of mine, Edmund Edgar (Edwin Edgar actually) got a P.O. order for 25 pounds – it was in the P.O. in Aschu (Acheux) about four miles away and he asked Capt Rowsell for leave to go and collect it, but was refused. He was in a bad way about it, and said “imagine being killed with 25 pounds coming to you – what a horrible thought”. We were all broke and Edgar said to us all “boys, if I could get that money ‘twould do us all for a night anyway”.
So I went to the Sergeant - I won’t mention his name - he was a good trump. I said “Serg what would you do for a couple of bottles of champagne?” “Well”, he said, “I’d be as blind as the Sphinx for two or three hours.” That was all we wanted. Edgar and I went and inside of two hours were back with the money and a couple of bottles of champagne for the Sergeant. He’s alive yet, a real man he was, and a born leader. He’d get men to follow him to the gates of hell. Edgar divided the money and we had quite a night, and on the first Edgar was killed. A very likeable chap; his cousin Charlie was killed a few months afterwards.
We went in the line again on the 15th of July and our first job was to finish burying our dead, as some of them were still lying around. You can’t imagine, or no tongue can tell of the smell of these bodies. We had to take the equipment off them, search their pockets for money, letters, their identification discs etc. They were just awful to look at. We’d just dig a hole near them, put on our gas masks, put our picks over them and roll them into the hole. The worst was taking off the equipment; when you’d open the belt, the gas would whistle out. Lucky for us there were not many left. We could smell, or imagine we could smell, our hands for weeks afterwards.
We went out again on the 22nd of July to rest and refit. We had some reinforcements; for the meantime we stayed in a place called Abbeyville (Abbéville) for two or three weeks and had a real rest. We were getting new drafts now. We got lectures and training every day. We vets were especially urged to get the new bunch trained on the skeleton of the old.
Again I was asked to take stripes but refused again – just did not want to bother. Non- coms were always on the run, going here and there after the Officers. And we, the privates’ chief pastime was to keep clear of digging parties, fatigues etc. and getting away with it OK with our old Sergeants. ‘Twas alright till they all got wounded or sick. Then I saw my mistake and some of my old buddies were quite peeved with me for not taking stripes. However, at this time I was senior private doing non-com’s work leading patrols, digging parties etc. But as soon as the new Sergeants were competent to take charge, I was back to the boys again.
The Australians were billeted near us, and we got quite friendly again. They had lots of money and spent it freely. We had fine times together. Six of us were billeted in one end of an Estaminet and seven Aussies in the other end. Jack Davis and Leo Delacey are the only two I can remember, I forget the names of the other three. I remember at Abbeyville (Abbéville) on the 24th of July I was writing a letter home, when I went to date it, I said “this is my birthday”. One of the Aussies said we must celebrate, so he brought in about four gallons of champagne and a lot of wine, and the 13 of us sat down and made whoopee. Boy, what songs and dances.
About 2 in the afternoon we heard yells and oaths from an orchard up on the hill back of us. By and by I hear Newfoundland, Newfoundland, and I knew our fellows were in a row and wanted help, so I said “come on boys, let’s go” and we went up over the hill. I was just feeling nice and happy, a big Regular Army Sergeant ran down the hill to meet us. It didn’t seem to me we were fighting, and before I knew it he gave me a good wallop in the face. And before I knew it I was lying back of the Estaminet and one of the Australians giving me hell for letting a Limey knock me out.
What a scrap that was. Seems some of our fellows were eating fruit in the orchard, the English troops tried to stop them, as whatever damage was done by the Regiment, the Division or Brigade had to pay for it. Generally ‘twas our fellows who were a wild bunch, and it was really too bad, for most of the English soldiers had only 10 cents (six pence) a day to spend. We had a dollar ten, and for that do the Brigade was assessed 200 pounds damage, as it seems there were two horses bayoneted, beside the damage to the trees. We did not mind our share of it, but it sure made a small pay for the rest of the Brigade. That was the chief reason they did not like us. Besides, we laughed at them for saluting their officers at every twist and turn, and being afraid of their non-coms. We saluted when we could not help doing otherwise, and did not bother much about our NCOs, only doing what we had to do and lots of times covering up for them to keep them from being demoted.
Coming out of the trenches that time we had a long march out to Louvencourt again. I remember we had not marched four miles, when four of our new draft fell out. Capt Rowsell went back and talked to them. He said “nobody in the Newfoundland Regiment falls out on a route march – that is our record in this 88 Brigade and keep it that way”. “look around you and see what some of the fellows around you are doing and feel ashamed of yourselves.” Some of the guys were marching with their boots hung over their shoulders - their feet were too sore or too swollen with trench foot to wear boots.
Our fellows, mostly kids, were just great. They had a record to keep up and they sure did it. On that route march, one of my buddies returned to us after being wounded on the 1st of July – Mark Guy - a ruddy faced, blue-eyed, happy boy. He sure had grit. He had two bullet wounds in the left breast, just above the heart, went right through him. And here he was just after three weeks, back with us again. That is one thing a shortage of reserves meant. Lots of guys who are dead should be alive. For the want of reinforcements they were sent back before they had sufficiently recovered from their wounds. We had one doctor in Newfoundland who made quite a pile turning down fellows as unfit for $25 each. The authorities caught up with him after a while.
Back again to Mark Guy, after half an hour I noticed him bumping off me now and then, as we were marching. He was in the same four I was in; I said to him “are you tired, Mark”? The perspiration was running off him in a river, and you could see that he was out on his feet, but pure determination and grit kept him going. We had a rest of five or ten minutes every hour. The first rest we took, Mark opened his collars and showed us the wounds. They were red and chafed from his pack straps. I wanted him to let me tell the Captain, but he would not. He said, “No, by God, they sent me back fit, and I’m not going to give in.” Well, we fell in again and after a quarter of an hour he just could walk. I took his rifle and Jack Davis from Bell Island took his pack.
When Captain Rowsell on horse back dropped to the rear, to see how we were marching in his C Company, first thing he saw the two rifles on my shoulder and he said, “What are you doing with the two rifles?” I said, “Mark Guy is sick and could not carry his”. So the Capt. made him fall out and put him in one of the wagons. When we went to see him next morning, he was marked for hospital and looked a very sick man, but he smiled and shook hands with us and wished us luck. And that was the last we saw of poor Mark. He died a short time after with lung trouble, I believe (the records do not list a date of death – perhaps he died after returning home). A good buddy he was.
We marched 150 miles in full marching order in six days, and never lost a man, not one fell out. Being the last Regiment to join the Brigade we were last in the line of march; when we came to Ypres, before we came to the reviewing stand our band struck up The Banks of Newfoundland. We marched in with our heads in the air swinging along like we had just come on parade. But we had come right out of the trenches on the Somme and marched 150 miles to Belgium. Gen. Cayley complimented us again and called us his boys. I believe this was one of the longest forced marches in the history of the British Army. We did it in six days with our full kit – about seventy pounds.
I was feeling pretty miserable again with trench fever, and gradually got worse and worse – a raging fever, then cold for a little while, then alright for a little while. But my mind was in a kind of haze. I can just remember going in to the Ypres Salient. Building up with sand bags – if we dug down any more than two feet the water came up, so we had to build up. The trenches were mostly connected shell holes. It was chilly and damp, and every evening the fog from the North Sea rolled in. And we had to keep our eyes open to see that the Germans did not send gas over in the fog.
At night out in the line, when the flares and star shells went up from both sides, you could hardly tell where you were, as the Salient went out to a point about two or three miles and was only a few miles in the widest part (He has a drawing in the notebook of a narrow triangular point of land held by the British, almost surrounded by German trenches). It was held just for sentiment’s sake, as the British made a stand there and were determined not to go back any further. They say the British had 350,000 casualties holding the Salient and I quite believe it from what I saw while we were there. With the star shells and flares going up from each line and the shell burst as well over no-man’s land, made it a pretty lively looking triangle. With water in the trenches it was a lovely place for trench feet and rheumatism. Most of the trenches were connected shell holes.
We were billeted in the basement of what was once a University in the town of Ypres. When not in the front line we spent our nights wacking up supplies to the front line (oh, ‘twas a lovely war). My old complaint, trench fever, came at me again, and I was sent to a field hospital at Popshinge (Poperinge).
We were close to a hospital, and when we were able to take exercise, I often spent some time watching and playing with about 300 kids cared for by the sisters. It was pitiful to think that very few of them would ever find their parents again. Each of them had a tag on them, and the sisters had a record of the time and place they were picked up, also of any little words they could speak and the kind of clothing they wore – anything to help identify them.
I was there about a week and went back to the line again. After another two weeks, I got pretty bad, and lay for a week in the basement. The iron cots belonging to the students were still there and I was in one of about 12 in the middle of a big dormitory. The sewerage was all mucked up with shell fire and there was about two feet of water all over the floor. I could not stir hand or foot, and lost track of time. Down there it was damp and dark and cold and lonely, especially when they all went out on fatigue at night. I was scared to death of the rats that were swimming around in dozens and climbing up on the iron bunks looking for scraps of food. I often thought I’d lose my mind, I was so nervous of the rats – not being able to move. I was afraid to go asleep lest they’d eat me. All the fellows were good and left me candles; I lit them around my bunk where I could see all the rats swimming around. When they came too near I’d yell at them. Some times I dozed off with them all around and woke up in a fright.
One night I dozed off and when I woke everything was so still; I thought I heard a whispering and called out “who’s there?” and a voice answered me “it’s alright, sir, you are going to be OK, I came back from the line to pray for you.” Poor kid – he was not a hundred percent – not looked after too well. I often took his part when some of the chaps were riding him; he risked severe punishment by coming out of the line without permission. He had a wonderful faith, that kid. He hung his beads at the head of my cot and left. Strange, I fell dead asleep after he left, and when I woke there were two Red Cross guys with a stretcher to take me up top. ‘Twas just before day, and it was cold and foggy and dark, and I was so sick. I didn’t give a damn if I lived or died, I’d had it. They laid me with a few other guys on stretchers and put on our gas masks – we lay there waiting for an ambulance to come.
You folks who never had a gas mask on, especially the first issue we had, could never imagine how uncomfortable a guy could be. They were just a bag of heavy material with some kind of chemicals in it to neutralize the gas. There were two glasses to see through, and a rubber tube to breathe out through. But when they were fastened down inside your clothing, the only air you got had to be sucked through your clothing and the cloth in the mask. ‘Twas tough, but better than being gassed.
Well, you can imagine my feelings. Rheumatic fever, lying on a stretcher on the ground, dark and foggy, gas shells bursting around and not able to help yourself. I never felt so helpless in all my life. Guess some would pray, but not me. I was never much good at it, though I always admired men who could and did. However, the only real prayers I ever did say, were said in the trenches. As a kid, my mother taught me to say “now I lay me down to sleep etc.” It was a kind of song. But after seeing fellows brought out now, and then killed in their sleep, when it came to lying down with shells and guns going full blast, I’d make the sign of the cross, I’d say “God protect me and keep me safe and forgive me my sins”. Not much to say, but from the heart – guess it’s not so much what you say, it’s the way and the feeling you have when you say it.
Well, after a while the ambulances came along and took us all to the 3rd Canadian general field hospital at Bologne. I was there for a while, and began to feel real good again. I asked the doctor, Bruce was his name, if I could get up and he said tomorrow, for a little while. So next day I got up in the afternoon. Next day I got up in the morning, and the doctor said, “I have to mark you for duty again” – I said “that’s OK sir, I’m feeling fine”. I was a cookhouse orderly helping the nurses dry the dishes etc. We were having great fun pitching them to one another, suddenly I woke up in bed again, never felt anything – went right out. When I woke there was a Blighty ticket (WW1 soldier’s term for Britain) pinned on my pajamas so I was bound back to England. Was I delighted you ask me?
After a day or so I was put on board of a Red Cross ship for England, and I was a helpless case then. I was left on the stretcher on the saloon deck, with a lot of others. The ones that could help themselves were below decks. At that time the Germans were sinking Red Cross boats whenever they could. Well, at last we arrived at an English port. All the stretcher cases were laid in rows on the wharf, and they began to put us on the train and in ambulances for London. I was there a long time, as I heard the orderlies saying to one another “that’s a big b-----d, leave him for a while”. There was an Australian called Foster on the next stretcher to me and he also was pretty big, and he made some queer remarks about the orderlies. I fell asleep after a while, and was awakened by two guys dropping a stretcher on the wharf beside me. The noise almost scared me to death.
They put Foster and I in an ambulance and we were soon outside the gates. And there were women and girls pitching flowers in the ambulances as they passed. It was good to see the lovely English lasses again after years of only seeing men and mud and sand etc. Arrived at Wandsworth Hospital in London – got a bath by the orderly and put in bed. I was now quite helpless with rheumatism, but sure felt happy when they put me in that nice clean bed and saw the windows and walls etc. and realized I was under a roof again. It was a wonderful feeling.
Every day now I was taken and put in an electric oven. The heat was something awful; this went on for weeks and weeks. The ladies from London came and visited us, sat and talked with us and brought us flowers and candy and smokes etc. After a while I was changed from the oven to a hot mud bath and after a few days I began to feel better. Then orderlies walked me around, first for a few minutes and then a half hour at a time after each bath. I gained every day and after a while I got around on crutches, and finally with a cane. Then a lady, Mrs. Moffrey (?) would come almost every afternoon and take my arm and walk me around the grounds. What great charitable folks they were. I wrote Mrs. Moffrey quite a few times after I left. I was about a month home when her husband wrote me to say she had died. Guess she wore out herself, helping sick and wounded soldiers.
Made some nice friends among the Australians in hospital. After a month or so I was sent convalesce to a home in Esher in Surrey and it was lovely there. We got the best of food and out in the sun every day. I began to gain strength rapidly, but suffered a bit from a strange kind of numb feeling in my head. The VAD nurses there were nearly all titled ladies and they were good and kind to us. Came a day when a convoy were sent off to Wandsworth for another few days under observation, and there before a board of doctors. Then we were brought to 59 Victoria Street, got our back pay, and a ten day pass.
I reported at our base in Ayr when my leave was up, but first went straight to Edinburgh and spent eight days there. Then a night at a village near Ayr where a bunch of gals, ammunition workers, took me to a dance and I had a very nice night, and I met some of our boys from the depot in Ayr. I say they took me off the train, well they did and I said I was sorry but I had to report at the depot. But they said you’ve been having a hard time at the front, so we want to show you a good time. So they took my equipment off the rack, and my kit bag and of course I had to follow it. And I can tell you it was worthwhile. Great kids these warm-hearted Scottish lads and lassies.
Spent ten days at Ayr, but never got back to visit those wonderful folk. Was examined by a board of doctors and marked for home. After another week we got orders and a train ticket to Liverpool. There were fourteen others from home - I forget the most of them. But Mike Downey, and Andrew Coady and a chap Tucker from Manuels or Portugal Cove. We were in the charge of Sergeant Steele (Identity of Tucker and Steele uncertain).
We had a nice trip over to Quebec, except one night the bartender would not give Mike Downey a drink – said he was drunk, which was not true, for ‘twas an impossibility. I was in bed when I heard the noise Mike was making, and asking for us to back him up. When I got up on the well deck, Mike was there naked to the waist, calling on all and sundry to come take him. We just stood around to see he got fair play. The Sergeant came up and asked him to give up; Mike said “no, I’m not drunk and there’s no man going to take me alive”. With that he backed up against the funnel. The Sergeant was plucky, but Mike caught him up and held him kicking out over the rail and he said “you g.d. rat, for two pins I’d heave you into it.” He let him go after a while.
None of the Canadians would go near him. He was a hard looking man if vexed, tall and stout and not fat at 230 pounds. The Sergeant went for the MLO. He came and they turned on the lights, when he saw Mike he said “consider yourself under open arrest”. “That’s alright” said Mike”, but what about a drink?” “Oh”, the officer said, “I’ll see you get all the drinks you can handle.” “That’s all I want” said Mike, hauling on his coat.
Little incidents I think of now and then… On the afternoon of July 1st it came to heavy rain. We were scattered from hell to breakfast all over the place. Charlie Parsons of St. John’s, Paddy MacDonald (McDonald actually) from Salmonier and I got under two or three pieces of corrugated iron stuck up against the side of a trench and were sitting it out there, saying very little. I guess we were kind of stunned at the day’s disaster and thinking of our buddies who had gone over the hill when whoosh came a shell and blew the whole business away and did not even touch us. Two or three more came in quick succession and we cleared out of it.
I do not know where I went – guess I must have slept a few hours somewhere, as first thing I remembered, I was bringing in the wounded on a stretcher with Leo Delacey and after a little while with Charlie Parsons. Charlie was a lucky man – went through the whole war without a scratch – got an M.M. and bar. Paddy MacDonald was a very strong, broad-shouldered chap who had knocked about quite a bit before enlisting, as I had. Never saw him again. Heard he got home OK. We had many a yarn when we got a quiet time. What a great gift speech is.
We had an Esquimaux who was a very quiet chap, name of Johnny Shiwac (Shiwak actually), a sniper. Dr. Wakefield brought him up from Labrador. Sometimes I sneaked out to his sniping post when it was near. He was continuously watching. He must have killed a lot of Germans. He told me ‘twas like watching seals he said. I talked to him of duck shooting, deer hunting, etc. and his eyes would light up. He often sighed and said “will it ever be over, till I get home again”? He was killed (records indicate Nov 20, 1917), so I guess his spirit is back in his beloved Labrador – I would like to think so, anyway. What a change from the stillness and quiet and whiteness of the Labrador to the mud and dirt and noise of Flanders.
I often think of things that were said or happened. Once a bunch of us were going over to the German lines, a pretty dangerous job. We had to go within about twenty or thirty yards of their trenches, throw our bombs and make our way back across no man’s land, which was being all churned up by bursting shells and machine gun and rifle fire. While we were waiting till it got dark, we were standing and thinking not very pleasant thoughts, because it was certain we were not all coming back. When the officer in charge said in a low voice “it’s time to go boys, but cheer up, some of us will never be bothered by rheumatics”. ‘Twas a grim joke, but somehow we got a laugh out of it. And as it happened, we got off very lightly that night – only three slightly wounded, and they were walking cases, so they did not delay our getting back.
I was thinking today of how some of our chaps who were wounded struggled to get back to our lines. Some made a good job of bandaging their wounds and stopping the blood, others just let themselves bleed to death, and a few with painful wounds or very badly wounded just cut an artery and died. Guess they were not rescued the first night – they could not take it. One of my buddies, Jack Barnable from Ferryland, who was wounded at Monchy had his feet almost blown off just above the ankle. He was crawling back with a bunch of our wounded and fell behind, owing to his foot dragging and getting caught in everything. They were heading toward an old barn and he told them to go on, he’d join them there later. When they were gone, he sat up, got his knife and cut his foot off and that delay saved his life, as the barn with all his comrades in it got a direct hit and were all killed.
Another chap, Coombes I think his name was, from Lower Island Cove, got a bullet through both thighs and crawled into a shell hole and could not get out. We were passing him by, day after day, not seeing him in the shell hole. It came to rain on the fourth day and he floated and scrambled up on top, where we found him and brought him in – he recovered. He had lived for days on the emergency rations of his dead comrades who were in the shell hole with him. These are only a couple of instances of the grit of our boys. Dan Moore lost a leg – I met him a few years after the war and asked him how he was – he said “fine, but I’ll never be able to kick my own ass again”. Dan always said he’d die like a man, with his boots on. Well, ‘twas a great experience.
Now I can still see in my mind’s eye those that never came back, just like they were in life, laughing boys full of life and devilment. And when I look at my buddies that did come back, a lot of them just moping along broken in health and bent and old-looking. I often wonder who had the best of it, they that did not come back, or those that did.
Here are some things I remember, but there were months in France I can’t remember clearly the things that happened. I was in a kind of haze most of the time from sickness and fever, just carrying on patrols etc. no reinforcements. On the whole we had pretty good trumps for officers, and Sergeants – a few bad ones. But I must say, we were lucky with officers and Sergeants, I liked them all, and never had any complaints.
Another little incident I remember down on the Peninsula. Chan Freebairn – a neighbour of mine, Dr. Freebairn’s son, got sick and was kept for days, and at last was sent off. I brought him out to the beach to the Red Cross Station, and two days later we heard he was dead (records indicate 23 Oct 1915). He never had a chance. If we had had conscription, we would have had lots of reinforcements – he’d probably be still alive, maybe.
I noticed in Alan Moorhead’s book, “Gallipoli” (reprinted in Dec. 2002), he said that the troops who fought in Gallipoli did not fight in France, which is not true. The 29 division, which we were a part of, went directly to France and fought in France and Belgium. Another thing, he never once mentioned the Newfoundland Regiment and we were in both evacuations and were among the very last men taken off Suvla and Cape Helles, and that was quite a compliment to us we thought, to be left for the rear guard.
We lost quite a lot of men with dysentery, jaundice and fevers of different kinds, besides the dead and wounded. I think there were only 350 came off. I was in both evacuations. I don’t know if I’ve written the Australians’ farewell to Egypt. Here it is:
Land of heat and sweaty socks,
Gonorrhoea, syph and pox,
The black man’s heaven,
The white man’s hell,
Bastard Egypt, fare you well.
The Australians, as well as the rest of us, hated the Gyppos as we called them. A dirty, slimy treacherous lot. And events since have proved that over and over again.
The Aussies had another song, but I never got to write it down. ‘Twas called The Shake of a Dead Man’s Hand. Seems the morning of the evacuation, when they were coming out to the shore, the hand of a chap that had been killed was sticking out through the side of the trench and his brother shook it and said farewell. The Aussies did not want to leave the Peninsula, and I don’t think we should have, for if they had sent us reinforcements, we could have gone right up through.
End of this section
At the end of the notebook is another section containing the following transcription.
This is a copy of a petition sent in 1709 from the residents of the Isle aux Bois in Ferryland Newfoundland.
To his Excellency Joseph Dudley Esq., Governour and Captain Generall in and over her majesties colonies of New Hampshire and New England etc.
The humble address of the masters of families and inhabitants of the Island of Buoys in Newfoundland
That we her majesties most dutifull and loyall servants, the masters of families and the inhabitants of the Island of Buoys in Newfoundland being deeply sensible of your Excellencies great goodness and clemency towards us in commiserating our condition by sending us and out neighbours relief in the Brigantine Hope. Capt William Pickering Comdr with power to demand us if in the hands of our enemies, and support to transport us to your excellencies government, which in all humility we acknowledge to be an infinite favour, and with all submission acknowledge our gratitude and thankfulness. But as it hath please God in his infinite mercy to protect and defend us against our enemies, in two different assaults we hope by the same providence to defend ourselves against all their assaults. Being fully resolved to maintain this our Island to the last extremity for her majesties honour and our nations interest and shall be ready if called upon to act offensively against our enemies to the end, that they may be totally rooted out of this country.
We do therefore humbly request your Excellency to accept of our poor but sincere and unfeigned thanks for your great goodness and clemency towards us and as in duty bound we sincerely and unfeignedly with all submission subscribe ourselves your excellencies most dutiful and most obliged humble servants.
Rich Hamlin Arch Cummings
John Levine John Tucker
Edward Decker Richard Roberts
Henry Decker Arthur White
Richard Decker Thomas Dible
Robert Decker John Thomas
John Benger John Hodge
Robert Benger John Saunders
James Benger Edwin Webber
Able Glanville William Ponpeaser
John Glanville John Fletcher
Andrew Palmer Griffith Russel
Rich Clogg John Wyatt
Will Clogg William Cooper
Lawrence Rich Henry Dix
Edward Cane Nathan Lucum
Arch Brown Anthony Parsons
John Searle Thomas Caning
The only names I remember hearing are Bengers – Bengers Grove, Bengers Pond, and Bengers Marsh are called after them. Bengers Marsh was called after one of the Bengers who was found there after being astray for days. I remember the last of the Cummins – Jas – whose father was a local policeman and his sister Catherine taught a private school when I was a boy.
Saunders I remember – the last of them went to Boston about forty years ago. Lucum – there’s a fishing ledge called after him. They must have nearly all moved away, if not, some of the names would still be around.
NB: For comparison purposes, here is the transcript that appears in the textbase prepared by Pope and found on the Colony of Avalon website. This text is taken from the original in the Boston Public Library. There are quite a few variations on the spellings of the names in Dad Morry’s transcription. In cases of uncertainty he would have used names that were current in the area in his lifetime (e.g. Caning versus Cuming), though many of the earliest resident families of the area are no longer present there.:
May, 1709; Richard Amiss et al. [Inhabitants of Buoys Island, off Ferryland,
Boston Public Library, Mss Acc.468 (1)
Subjects: France, war, planters, names.
To his Excellency Joseph Dudley, Esq.
The humble address of the masters of families and inhabitants of the Island of Buoys [Buoys Island, off Ferryland] in Newfoundland
That we, Her Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects and your Excellency's most humble servants, the masters of families and inhabitants of the Island of Buoys [Buoys Island] in Newfoundland, being deeply sensible of your Excellency's great goodness and clemency towards us in commiserating our condition by sending us and our neighbours relief in the Brigantine HOPE, Captain William Pickering commander, with power to demand us [command us], if in the hands of our enemies, and support to transport us to your Excellency's government, which in all humility we acknowledge to be an infinite favour and with all submission acknowledge our gratitude and thankfulness.
But, as it hath pleased God of his infinite mercy to protect and defend us against our enemies in two different assaults, we hope by the same providence to defend ourselves against all their assaults, being fully resolved to maintain this our Island to the last extremity for her Majesty's honour, and our nation's interest and shall be ready, if required, to act offensively against our enemies, to the end that they may be totally rooted out of this country.
We do therefore humbly request your Excellency to accept of our poor but sincere and unfeigned thanks for your so great goodness and clemency towards us, and as in duty bound we sincerely and unfeignedly with all submission subscribe ourselves.
Copy of an
Fellow Members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment
Mentioned by Dad Morry in His Memoirs
Pte. Harold James Andrews, Regt. # 777, wounded at Beaumont Hamel. Pp 4, 5, 7, 8, 23, 24.
Barnable, John Joseph (Jack)
Pte. John Joseph Barnable, Regt. # 3027. Page 36.
Barrett, Harold George
2nd Lt. Harold George Barrett, Regt. # 798, wounded at Beaumont Hamel, awarded Military Medal for valour at Gueudecourt, died in battle 16 Aug 1917. Page 15.
Bernard, Adolph Ernest
Adolph Ernest Bernard, Granted Commission, Captain Sept. 21, 1914: British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; Evacuated Suvla, sick, Dec. 12, 1915; Admitted to hospital, Malta, Dec. 17, 1915; Invalided to England, Jan. 25, 1916; Awarded Military Cross, June 3, 1916; Mentioned in dispatches, July 11, 1916; Attached to depot, Ayr, July 12, 1916; Major, Oct. 5, 1916; British Expeditionary Force, Dec. 1, 1916; Decorated with Croix de Guerre, Sept. 1917; Took over command of the First Newfoundland Battalion, June 1, 1918; Returned to U. K. for special Officers' course, June 30, 1918; Returned to B. E. F., Sept. 29, 1918; Rejoined Battalion, Oct. 6, 1918; Assumed command of First Newfoundland Battalion, March 16, 1919; Embarked for Newfoundland, May 22, 1919; Acting Lieutenant-Colonel, Jan. 1, 1919; Retired, July 29, 1919. Page 10.
Brown, James Michael (Gravy)
Likely Pte. James Michael Brown, Regt. # 1328; died in battle 3 Dec. 1915. No other Brown was killed in 1915. Page 7.
Carew, David (Davey)
Pte. David Michael Carew, Regt. # 776, killed at Gallipoli, 7 Oct. 1915, son of David Carew and Carrie Eddicott of 33 Patrick St., St. John’s. Pp. 4, 7.
Pte. Victor Adrian Carew, Regt. # 1560, died 20 November 1917. Dad Morry’s 2nd cousin.
Will of Victor A Carew, died 20 November 1917, from Newfoundland Will books vol. 11, page 435, probate year 1920.
In re Victor I Carew. Deceased.
Copy. Newfoundland Contingent. Copy of Will of No. 1560. Private V. I Carew.
In the event of my death, I give the whole of my property and effects to Mrs. Henry Carew, Cape Broyle, Newfoundland.
Signature, V.A. Carew, Rank and Regiment, Pte N.F.L.D.
J. W. Marshall, Capt. Chief Paymaster & O. i/c Records.
Date 14/11/16 Certified True Copy.
Correct William F. Lloyd
Registrar of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland.
Listed in the margin next to this will the following
Fiat April 8/20, Horwood C. J.
adm. C.T.A. Granted to Esther Carew, April 9/20.
Estate sworn at $55.45
Most likely Lieut. Cyril B. Carter of St. John’s. Page 7.
Cayley, D. E.
No greater tribute could be paid any unit than that contained in the words of Major-General D. E. Cayley, commanding the Twenty-Ninth Division: "In bidding goodbye to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment on their departure from the Twenty-Ninth Division, I wish to place on record my very great regret at their withdrawal from a Division in which they have served so long and so brilliantly. The whole of their active service since September, 1915, has been performed in this Division, and during all that time the Battalion has shown itself to be under all circumstances of good and bad fortune, a splendid fighting unit. At Suvla, Beaumont Hamel, Gueudecourt, Monchy, Ypres, Cambrai, and during the last fighting near Bailleul, they have consistently maintained the highest standard of fighting efficiency and determination. They can look back on a record of which they and their fellow-countrymen have every right to be proud. I wish Lieutenant-Colonel Woodruffe and all ranks the best of luck in the future.” (From Chapter V of “The First Five Hundred” by Richard Cramm). Page 10, 13, 15, 19, 32.
Cleary, Charles Allen
CQMS Charles Allen Cleary, Regt. # 679, died July 1, 1916. Buried Knightsbridge. Son of Philip J. and Katherine Cleary of 3 Monkstown Rd., St. John’s. Page 28.
Pte. Andrew Coady, Regt. # 775. Page 35.
The man Coombes mentioned was possibly Pte. Archibald Coombs, Reg. # 492. Enlisted, Sept. 11, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force Aug. 20, 1915; Evacuated Suvla, sick, Nov. 28, 1915; Rejoined Battalion, Suez, March 1, 1916; British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; Wounded, Beaumont Hamel, July 1, 1916; Invalided to England, July 8, 1916; Repatriated to Newfoundland, Sept. 13, 1917; Discharged St. John's, medically unfit, Feb. 14, 1918. Page 37.
Cooper, David (Dave)
Either Pte. David Cooper, Regt. # 3883, of NDB or Pte. David F. Cooper, Regt. # 1187, of St. John’s. Page 13.
Costello, Daniel (Dan)
Pte. Daniel Stephen Costello, Regt. # 860, wounded at Beaumont Hamel. Page 5.
Crane, Joseph (Joe)
Pte. Joseph Crane, Regt. # 2313, died 14 April, 1917. Page 25.
Davis, John (Jack)
Pte. John Davis , Regt. #738. Military Medal. Answered roll call after Beaumont Hamel and survived the war. Pp. 7, 30, 32.
DeLacey, Leo Francis
Sgt. Leo Francis DeLacey, Regt. # 1373. son of John DeLacey and Margaret Moakler of St. John’s. Pp. 24, 28, 30, 36.
Donnelly, James J.
Capt. James J. Donnelly, awarded Military Cross at Caribou Hill, died in battle 12 Oct. 1916. Pp. 5, 7, 8, 20, 27.
Downey, Michael (Mike)
Pte. Michael Downey, Regt. # 862. Pp. 7, 35.
Likely Pte. John Dunphy, Regt. # 44. Enlisted, Sept. 2, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; Killed in Action, Suvla Bay, Dec. 12, 1915. The only Dunphy to die in 1915. Pp. 13, 14.
Edgar, Charles LeGallais (Charlie)
2nd Lieut. Charles LeGallais Edgar, Regt. # 199, killed in action, Sailly-Saillisel, Feb. 26, 1917: Enlisted, Sept. 4, 1914; Lance Corporal, April 8, 1915; Corporal, July 27, 1915; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; Acting Company Quartermaster Sergeant, Nov. 11, 1915; Sergeant Nov. 14, 1915; Wounded, Suvla Bay, Dec. 5, 1915; Discharged to duty, Jan. 19, 1916; Confirmed to Rank of Company Quartermaster Sergeant, Jan. 31, 1916; British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; 2nd Lieutenant, June 5, 1916; Returned to Newfoundland on duty, July 11, 1916; Embarked for U. K., Aug. 28, 1916; Returned to B. E. F., Oct. 27, 1916; Killed in action, Sailly-Saillisel, Feb. 26, 1917. Brother of Ned below. Page 30.
Edgar, Edwin (Ned)
Pte. Edwin Edgar, Regt. # 737, died July 1, 1916, buried Memorial Park. Son of Edwin and Helen Edgar, Greenspond. Brother of Charlie above. Pp. 21, 30.
Freebairn, Buchanan W. (Chan)
Pte. Buchanan W. Freebairn, Regt. # 724, died 23 Oct. 1915. Pp. 7, 16, 37.
Pte. John Fitzgerald, Reg. # 295. Enlisted, Sept. 8, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; Killed in action, Suvla, Dec. 1, 1915; Mentioned in dispatches, London Gazette, July 11, 1916. Page 9.
Gladney, James Joseph (Jim)
Pte. James Joseph Gladney, Regt. #771. Page 8.
Probably Pte, Ralph Gough, Regt. # 781; though Dad Morry spelled the surname “Goff”. Page 13.
Grant, William Hayes
2nd Lieut. William Hayes Grant, Reg. # 410. Enlisted, Sept. 11, 1914; Lance Corporal, May 21, 1915; 2nd Lieutenant Oct. 16, 1915; British Expeditionary Force, March 23, 1916; Killed in action, in the line near Beaumont Hamel, July 16, 1916, aged 25; buried at Auchonvillers Military Cemetery. Son of Jas. William Grant and Julia Hayes MacMillan of Bridgeville, Nova Scotia. Page 24.
Green, Patrick (Paddy)
Pte. Patrick Green, Regt. # 1055; wounded at but survived battle of Beaumont Hamel and returned home from the war. Pp. 12, 26.
Greene, Walter Martin
Walter Martin Greene, Reg. No. 266. Enlisted, Sept. 2, 1914; Lance Corporal, Sept. 21, 1914; Corporal, Nov. 13, 1914; Provost Sergeant, April 23, 1915; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal, Jan. 24, 1916; British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; 2nd Lieutenant, June 5, 1916; Wounded, Somme Raid, June 28, 1916: Invalided to England, July 5, 1916; Returned to B. E. F., May 4, 1917; Lieutenant, Nov. 1, 1917; Killed in action, Marcoing, Nov. 20, 1917. son of Thomas Greene and Catherine Fewer of Cape Broyle.
The following account is given in “The First Five Hundred”:
“One of these patrols had a trying experience. On the night of November 4, a patrol sent out under Lieutenant J. J. Donnelly occupied a ridge midway between the trenches occupied by the enemy and those held by our men. From this ridge the Turks had been giving trouble every night for some time. The patrol had scarcely reached the ridge before it was opposed by the enemy who outnumbered our men by about seven to one. The sound of the firing from the ridge indicated to the Commanding Officer that our patrol was being attacked, and, suspecting that it was greatly outnumbered by the enemy, he immediately dispatched six men under Lieutenant Ross and Sergeant Greene to reinforce the patrol. As this small party was slowly making its way across No Man’s Land it encountered a large party of Turks who were rapidly surrounding our men who were holding the ridge.
In the skirmish that followed only Sergeant Greene and Private Hynes escaped without being wounded. The coolness, resourcefulness and courage with which these two men managed the situation could not be surpassed by the soldiers of many years active warfare experience. By their rapid fire at close range they completely deceived the Turks who greatly exceeded them in numbers. The enemy finally retired to his own trenches, and the attempt to surround our original patrol was completely foiled. This timely aid enabled Lieutenant Donnelly and his men to hold the ridge all night, although every man in the party had been wounded, some several times. On the following day the Regiment advanced its front line to the ridge that had been so nobly held by the two small patrols, and placed machine guns in commanding positions. This ridge was afterward most appropriately called Caribou Hill. The name will for many years linger in the minds of Newfoundlanders, and will recall the true soldierly qualities of the Newfoundland troops who fought at Gallipoli.
Of these two patrols, three men were awarded decorations for their skill, coolness and courage in extreme danger. The official statement of the London Gazette is as follows: ‘The Military Cross was awarded to Lieutenant J. J. Donnelly for conspicuous gallantry and determination on the night of the fourth-fifth of November, 1915, on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He occupied with eight men a knoll to which our firing line was extended the next day. By his coolness and skill in handling his small party, which was reduced to five by casualties, he repelled several determined Turkish bomb and rifle attacks on his front and flanks, and held his own during the night.’
‘The Distinguished Conduct Medal was awarded to Sergeant Greene and Private Hynes under the following circumstances: 266 Sergeant W. M. Greene, First Newfoundland Regiment. For conspicuous gallantry on the night of the fourth-fifth of November, 1915, on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
With an Officer and six men he led the way in front of our advanced line in order to support a party of his Regiment which was being heavily attacked and likely to be surrounded.
The enemy were encountered at close range, and, when the Officer and two men had been wounded, Sergeant Greene took command, drove off the Turks and brought in the wounded.’
‘807 Private R.E. Hynes, First Newfoundland Regiment. For conspicuous gallantry on the night of the fourth-fifth of November, 1915, on the Gallipoli Peninsula. With an Officer and six men he attacked superior numbers of Turks, who were attempting to surround a small post. In spite of heavy casualties on our side, Private Hynes kept up rapid fire at close range, which resulted in the Turks abandoning their enterprise, and enabled his party to bring in the wounded.’ Page 15.
Pte. Mark Guy, Regt. # 1271, wounded Beaumont Hamel, contrary to notes above it seems he survived the war. Pp. 31, 32.
Hadow, Arthur, L.
Lt. Col. Arthur L. Hadow, C.M.G., M.I.D. . Pp. 19, 20, 28.
Hannaford, John Joseph
L/Cpl. John Joseph Hannaford, Regt. # 792. He survived his wounds at Beaumont Hamel and made it through the war alive. Dad Morry was Regt. # 726 so they must have enlisted the same day or very nearly. Page 4.
Harvey, William Thomas (Tom)
Possibly Pte. William Thomas Harvey, Regt. # 751. Page 12.
Sgt. Louis Head, Regt. # 743, wounded at Beaumont Hamel. Pp. 4, 9, 24.
Higgins, Edmund James (Ed)
Sgt. Edmund James Higgins, Regt. # 756, died of wounds received at Beaumont Hamel on July 2, 1916. Page 4.
Howard, James John (Jimmy)
Pte. James John Howard, Reg. No. 560; Enlisted, Sept. 16, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 20, 1915; British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; Killed in Action, Beaumont Hamel, July 1, 1916, aged 22; buried Memorial Park. Only son of Patrick and Joan Howard of 52 Colonial St., St. John’s. Page 25.
Janes, Frederick (Fred)
L./Cpl. Frederick Janes, Regt. # 1275, killed at Beaumont Hamel. Page 5.
Kent, Martin Patrick
L/Cpl. Martin Patrick Kent, Regt. # 1270, died Oct. 12, 1916. Page 27.
Le Messurier, Francis Ernest (Frank)
Sgt. Francis Ernest Le Messurier, Regt. # 632, wounded at Beaumont Hamel, married to Helena Morry, Dad Morry’s 1st cousin once removed. Page 5.
McDonald, Patrick Q. (Paddy)
Cpl. Patrick Q. McDonald Regt. # 230; Enlisted, Sept. 2, 1914; British Expeditionary Force, Dec. 12, 1916; Wounded, Broembeek, Oct. 9, 1917; Invalided to England, Oct. 19, 1917; Attached to Depot, Ayr, Nov. 28, 1917; Lance-Corporal, Jan. 11, 1918; Awarded Military Medal, Jan. 14, 1918; Acting Corporal, March 19, 1918; Returned to Newfoundland. Furlough, July 21, 1918; Embarked for United Kingdom, Oct. 19, 1918; Demobilized, United Kingdom, March 6, 1919. Pp. 35, 36.
McKinley, Joseph (Joe)
CQMS Joseph McKinley, Regt. # 748, wounded at Beaumont Hamel. Pp. 4, 20.
Hector McNeil Reg. No. 31. Enlisted, Sept. 2, 1914; Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, Sept. 21, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915: British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; Acting Quartermaster, July 12, 1916; Hon. Lieutenant Quartermaster, Nov. 26, 1916; Captain Quartermaster, July 23, 1918: Embarked for Newfoundland, furlough, July 24, 1918; Returned to United Kingdom, Nov. 27, 1918; Returned to British Expeditionary Force, Dec. 8, 1918; Mentioned in Despatches, March 16, 1919; Awarded 0. B. E., June 3, 1919; M.I.D. Pp. 11, 12.
Mifflin, Henry (Harry)
Sgt. Henry Mifflin, Regt. # 742. Pp. 4, 14, 21, 24.
Sgt. Harold Mitchell, Regt. # 828. Pp. 7, 15.
Moore, Daniel (Dan)
Pte. Daniel Joseph Moore, Regt. # 741. Pp. 9, 11, 14, 21, 37.
Pte. Joachim Murphy, Regt. # 696, died 7 Nov. 1915. Page 8.
Myers, Albert (Abe)
Pvt. Albert Myers, Regt. # 1367. Page 24.
O’Flynn, Michael Joseph (Mike)
Pte. Michael Joseph O’Flynn, Regt. # 727; died July 1, 1916, buried in Memorial Park; son of David A. and Annie O’Flynn of Grand Falls; referred to in Dad Morry’s memoirs as “Mike Flynn”. Page 25.
O’Neil, Frederick Michael (Fred)
Pte. Frederick Michael O'Neil, Reg. # 402. Enlisted, Sept. 8, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; Admitted Hospital, Marseilles, March 22, 1916; Discharged from Hospital, April 6, 1916; Wounded, Somme Raid, June 28, 1916; Invalided to England, July 1, 1916; Attached to Depot, Ayr, Aug. 15, 1916; Embarked for Newfoundland, Sept. 27, 1916; Discharged, St. John's, medically unfit, Jan. 31, 1917; Mentioned in despatches, April 9, 1917. In “The First Five Hundred” it says this about the incident mentioned by Dad Morry: ‘Private T. M. O’Neil, seeing an enemy bomb thrown in the midst of his party and realizing the danger to the entire party picked up the bomb and threw it back. It exploded on leaving his hands and severely wounded him, but his quick and brave act undoubtedly saved several of his company.’ Page 26.
Parsons, Charles H. (Charlie)
The Charlie Parsons mentioned who survived Beaumont Hamel is probably Pte. Charles H. Parsons, Regt. # 1708, died 19 Oct. 1918; the other Charles Parsons, Pte. Charles Albert Parsons, Regt. # 1471, died that day. Pp. 28, 35, 36.
Penney, Josiah H. (Joe)
Pte. Josiah H. Penney, Regt. # 665, killed 1 July 1916, aged 26; buried Memorial Park. Son of Josiah and Anna Penney of Carbonear. Page 25.
Phillips, George Gordon
2nd Lt. George Gordon Phillips, Regt. # 1164 – died later that year – 12 Oct 1916. In “The First Five Hundred” it says this about the incident mentioned by Dad Morry: ‘Without any assistance Private G. Philips attacked several Germans, some of whom he killed and others severely wounded. He later received the Military Medal and the Russian Order of St. George for his conspicuously courageous conduct.’ Page 26.
Quigley, Michael J.
Pte. Michael J. Quigley, Regt. # 861, died 1 July 1916, aged 27. Buried Y Ravine. Son of Timothy and Margaret Quigley of St. John’s. Page 27.
Rendell, Clifford (Cliff)
2nd Lt. Clifford Rendell, Regt. # 621, died in battle 22 July 1916, aged 21; buried at Etaples Military Cemetery. Son of Herbert and Lizzie Rendell, St. John’s. Page 23.
Roper, Henry (Hal)
Pte. Henry Roper, Regt. # 670. Page 18.
Rowsell, Reginald S.
We know this was Capt. Reginald S. Rowsell, Military Cross, killed in action 14 April 1917, because Dad Morry mentions later that he died in action. The other Capt. Rowsell, Capt. Arthur Rowsell, Regt. # 2491, survived the war. Pp. 5, 16, 27, 30, 31, 32.
Sheehan, John Joseph (Joe)
Sgt. John Joseph Sheehan, Regt. # 35; Enlisted, Sept. 2, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; Wounded, Beaumont Hamel, July 1, 1916; Invalided to England, July 5, 1916; Lance Corporal, Oct. 27, 1916; Returned to British Expeditionary Force, Dec. 30, 1916; Corporal, Feb. 9, 1917; Wounded, Sailly-Saillisel, Feb. 24, 1917; Discharged, medically unfit, Dec. 8, 1917; Enlisted Newfoundland Forestry Battalion, Dec. 11, 1917; Sergeant, Dec. 12, 1917; Embarked for United Kingdom, Dec. 21, 1917; Died of pneumonia, Dec. 28, 1917. Page 25.
L/Cpl. John Shiwak, reg. No 1735; died in battle 20 Nov 1917. Pp. 25, 36.
Short, William (Billy)
Possibly 2/Lt. William Short, Regt. # 878. Page 7.
Snow, William (Bill)
Pte. William Snow, Regt. # 750, died 12 Oct. 1916. Page 8.
Pte. Morley Soper, Regt. # 1259, died 29 Dec. 1915. Pp. 8, 16.
Summers, Michael Francis
The “Capt. Somers” mentioned must be Captain Michael Francis Summers (there was no Capt. Somers at Beaumont Hamel. Capt. Summers was wounded at Beaumont Hamel on July 1 and died July 16, aged 26. Buried Gezaincounrt Communal Cemetery Extension. Son of Michael and Catherine Summers of 330 Water St. St. John’s: Michael Francis Summers - Appointed Quarter Master, Sept. 21, 1914; British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Aug. 20, 1915; Captain, Nov. 23, 1915; British Expeditionary Force, March 14, 1916; Wounded, Beaumont Hamel, July 1, 1916; Died of wounds, July 16, 1916. Page 28.
Thomas, Walter (Hatty)
Pte. Walter Thomas, Regt. # 722, died of wounds received at Beaumont Hamel on July 15, 1916. Page 4.
Viguers, William (Bill)
Pte. William Viguers, Regt. # 1171, wounded at Beaumont Hamel. Page 5.
Watson, James (Charlie)
Most likely CQMS James Watson, Regt. # 2406, Meritorious Service medal, Mentioned in Dispatches. He was born in Scotland. Page 4.
Pte. Willis White, Regt. # 739, killed at Beaumont Hamel. Pp. 4, 24.
Windsor, Stanley Charles (Stan)
L./Cpl. Stanley Charles Windsor, Regt. # 301, wounded at both Gallipoli and Steenbeke and eventually invalided out in 1917; Dad Morry’s 2nd cousin, once removed; brother of Mont (below). Page 6.
Windsor, Wilfred Montgomery (Mont)
Pte. Wilfred Montgomery Windsor, Regt. # 672. 2nd cousin once removed, but lifelong best friends; brother of Stan (above). Pp. 3, 6.
Winter, Edward R. (Ted)
Pte. Edward R. Winter, Regt. # 675, died January 7, 1916. Page 16.
Military Records Contact: Daniel B. Breen
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