August 25th 1914

25th August 1914   Tuesday

Off at daybreak again, marched steadily ‘til afternoon. German Taube flying over our column about 4,45 pm., Arrived at Landrecies about 5.30 from where we were to rest for the night –Very hot and dog tired – no trouble with feet so far. Got nice billet in stables of large house and had tea and dinner combined. Just thinking of lying down for the night when alarm given – all excitement now. Time about 7.30 pm. Fell in in road (in front of billet) but were told alarm was false. Went back to billets again and just laid down when alarm again given, This time, in earnest. Germans sighted in great numbers. We worked like n…..s  barricading main road. Utilising motor lorry loaded with signal stores (RE). For a basis and with the aid of stone sets (rooted up from the roadway), drums of cable etc. made a very effective barricade. Throughout our work we were being shelled heavily by the Germans, but in spite of all had no casualties – though the falling pieces worried us not a little. About midnight went to relieve the 3rd Battalion Coldstreamers who had been bearing the brunt of the full force of the German attack, to the right of our position. They had been holding another main road leading into the town, and despite the fierce German attacks (4 bayonet charges) had held their ground. The Germans had also shelled them with case shot at very close range and had worked havoc in their ranks. The stone sets were running with blood and human remains were strewn everywhere and the cries and groans of the wounded were heart rending. The 3rd Coldstreamers were brave fellows and stood their baptism of fire like men. Their losses were 180 killed, wounded and missing – but accounted for quite 800 Germans (official figures). The Coldstreamers maxim was captured and recaptured by them three times during the bayonet charges. As we crawled into position which the Coldstreamers had occupied we crawled through pools of blood. Our clothes the next day were stiff with it.

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