Our men tell of their war experiences

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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One hundred years ago, soldiers told of what they were experiencing during World War 1.

Lance Corporal Tom Parratt, of Long Sutton, who was serving at the front with the No. 1. Railway Supply Corps, British Expeditionary Force wrote letters home from France.

His letters told of what he was discovering while at war, including finding out how the Germans disposed of their dead.

He wrote: “They pile the bodies in churches and houses and then set fire to the buildings.”

Lance Corporal Parratt commented on the fact that the French people disapproved of the “wanton destruction” of the buildings in the towns.

He said: “I and two of my men found a German asleep under a hay stack that had not been fired, and it took us all our time to keep the few remaining French women from tearing him to pieces, for they properly hate them.

“They talk about the Germans singing and bands playing when they go into action, but our men are just the same – the latest addition to our company’s band is an old English Concertina we found in a house.

“I nearly found a stopping place for a German bullet in my ribs today. It passed through my serge and it grazed the skin, but it’s nothing much – I don’t think the bullet is made for me yet.

“They killed our pet bulldog, though, and I am going to make one of them bite the dust for it.”

Driver C Lord of the RFA spent time in Gosberton with his father-in-law after returning from his time with the first Expeditionary Force following a nervous breakdown.

He said: “We had a very bad time of it night and day, and I hope it will soon be over. The fighting is very hard and we have got the enemy on the run – our battery, along with the French, cleared a wood infested with Germans and simply mowed them down.

“I have had concussion of the brain cause by the bursting of ‘Allyman’s coal box. It flattened me out, killed four horses and wounded a gunner. I was not dead, I came round and managed to get slightly under cover.

“We have lost many men but the Germans have lost more.”

Driver Lord was taken to a field hospital, then to Boulogne and then to Cambridge Hospital, where 131 wounded Belgians and 150 injured Britains arrived just as he left.