Gainsborough News 2nd July 1915


A graphic account of a big battle in which Private Lawson, of Morton, was killed, is given by Private W. Day, of the 1st Lincolns, to his wife :-

“Our Colonel told us that we had to give the enemy ‘beans’ and to make them retire. We got the order to fix bayonets and charge, and we went with a swing over the two hundred yards to the German trenches. The sights were terrible. Our shells had blown in their trenches and dug-outs, and had buried the Germans underneath. There were dying and dead everywhere: others were running wild and trying to escape, but none got away free. One tried to get away near me, but two of us headed him off, and we were just about to give him cold steal when he dropped back dead, and so saved us the trouble of killing him. We got the trenches all right, and we kept the enemy from re-taking them. Then they shelled us and blew the trenches in on top of us, but we stuck to it until the ********* started with the gas, and we gave up the third trench we had taken. The gas affected our eyes and I got a whiff of it. After that we made another bayonet charge and retrieved the third trench. We were sights, all black and bleeding and covered with blood. Our clothes were torn and in tatters. Mine were with getting through the barbed wire. I had 100 cuts on my hands and legs. While we were running across the open in the charges shells were bursting everywhere. In the trenches I was buried with earth and sandbags three times, and the last time I thought my end had come. I had to be dug out for only the top of my head was not buried. We found the Germans dead in the trenches in good numbers, and the stench was awful.

I used 200 rounds of ammunition, and I’ve seen 20 fall dead from my gun. The rifles were red hot. I never thought I should live to write this letter.”

Gainsborough News 2nd July 1915 contributed by Stephen Knox