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Alma Russell Letters

Letters of British Columbia men on active service with Canadian and British Expeditionary Forces, 1914-1918. Learn more.

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BC Archives MS-1901

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wire for our retreat, and various parties of riflemen. We crawled along 'till we reached their wire and nothing happened, so we wormed our way to their parapet, where I waited till Costigan caught up. The Scouts fell back, so Costigan, and I, were in front, with our parties strung out behind, in single file. Then, our Artillery opened up, on each side, and behind, with great effect. I wormed up their parapet, but Costigan got caught in some wire, so we had a little slanging match. Suddenly I found myself gazing at a German sentry about six feet off, so I cut loose with my revolver, producing howls of agony, and many "Oi, Oi, Oi's," By this time Costigan was free, so we hurled a couple of precussion bombs, which failed to explode, and charged blindly; we both stepped on the roof of a shelter, which collapsed and we fell about twelve feet, to the bottom of their trench, with a great clatter. We jumped up, and I tore off to the right, and he to the left, throwing bombs furiously, and wondering why, the mischief, somebody didn't shoot us up. The bunch had fallen in, and were enjoying themselves with stray Germans, bayonetting, shooting, bombing, and even cracking their heads with grenades held in their hands. I tore round a traverse, and came on a Germ standing on the firing platform. We gazed at each other, and I jumped up, and grabbed him round the neck, clasping him lovingly to my bosom. He was scared stiff, but hung on like a leech. Another German came up to see what was going on, so I picked up my friend's rifle, and walloped him with the butt. My revolver was empty, so I had nothing but five second bombs. Well, I got my first friend started along the trench, towards the bunch, but he didn't move fast enough to

BC Archives, MS-1901 Box 1 File 10 / RUSSELL, Alma M., 1873-1964. Victoria; librarian. / Selected letters from Sergeant John Raymond McIllree, 1915.

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