Book 6. Folio 18. CONFIDENTIAL 2.A.
Reference 1173/6 (A.G.3.) Dated, 4th December 1918.
Name in Full Gerard Orby Sloper Rank at time of Capture Captain
Date of Capture 16 / 6 / 15 Place of Capture. BELLEWARDE FARM (near) YPRES
If wounded or otherwise. Wounded
*Company etc. Machine Gun Officer Unit 1st Bn Northd Fuss 9 Brigade 3 Division
Whether Escaped or Repatriated. Repatriated Date of Escape or Repatriation 16/11/18
Date of arrival in England. 18/11/18.
Present address. C/o Messs Cox & Co 16 Charring Cross. London
STATEMENT regarding circumstances which led to capture :-
At 4.15a.m. the 9th Brigade attacked. As machine-gun officer I went with the first wave to choose positions for the guns when I reached a sunken road I found that a boche machine-gun, which had been reported as laid on the road, had not been silenced. I was hit in the left hand. Across the road I turned to the left and was hit in the nose by a piece of grenade. I stumbled into a gap & silenced the gun & shot 3 of the team. Presently a bombing party came down the trench from my right – which I joined. About 5 minutes later I was hit on the back of the neck by a piece of shrapnel shell. I went up to the second line of trenches, collected about 20 men of the Liverpool Scottish under an officer & one of my machine guns proceeded to the 3rd line. I collected and sent back to the O.C. 9th Brigade all papers in this trench with a memo stating that the trenches on my left had not been taken & asked for 200 men to do it with. I then placed the machine-gun in position to cover my left flank & just as I had arranged this a piece of a heavy shell hit me on the top of the head. Owing to my wounds I am rather vague about the subsequent proceedings until a Sergeant of the Liverpool Scottish came to report that his officer said the boches were in the trench on his right & that he would have to retire. I went to fix things up & found that he had retired. Instead of sending a message for him to come back again I took the machine-gun back to the second line. I now consider that was a mistake although our left flank was in the air, but I was not in a fit state to decide at the time. The next event I remember was a message being passed up that I could not have the men I asked for, but the 7th(I think) Brigade would attack. I therefore considered it my duty to hold on until the attack began although my left flank was still in the air & we were suffering losses. Soon after this the boches counter-attacked. We held them up until a bombing party came up the communication-trench my left rear. I was then hit by a grenade which burst behind me while I was trying to collect a party to drive them out, & wounded me in the back & left arm & cut a large blood-vessel below my neck. I lost a great quantity of blood but managed to squeeze the blood-vessel below the cut & the last thing I remember was a boche kicking me on the head at the other end of the trench. Two years later a Sergeant informed me that I had run down the trench.
The Secretary, War Office,
Whitehall, London, S.W.1.
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