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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.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives MS-1901

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suit one of my thugs, so he cracked him open with a shovel. My Sergeant, who is a most cheerful rough-neck, then came up, so we proceeded 'till we came to two dugouts, which were dug below the surface of the trench. These were full of Germans who started coming up cried "Pardon" with a French accent. I got six in one, and had to soothe them just like I would a nervous horse. I would start them along, and my bar-room bouncers would do the rest, throwing them over the parapet, to the scouts, who rushed them over to our trench. Sergeant ** ** ** got impatient with the occupants of the other dugout, and cleaned them up with a bomb. We proceeded thusly for a while, doing some fine sniping with bombs at fleeing Germans, 'till the signal came to retire, so we withdrew gracefully, with the Scouts standing along the wire, acting like floor-walkers. This way, Sir, mind the wire, etc.. Altogether it was a most extraordinary affair. We expected trouble getting in, and didn't quite see how we were ever to get out. However, the Germans were so up in the air, that it was a cinch. The only fly in the ointment was that one of our rifle men was killed on their parapet, and nobody saw it, and left him there. However, we had removed all identification marks before we came out. Two more men were slightly wounded. We got twelve prisoners, and must have killed about fifty. The funny thing was that the prisoners said they had been warned to expect an attack, and they were Prussians too. Another Battalion on our right, who tried the same thing at the same time, could not get into their trench because of sunken wire. They lined up, and threw all the bombs, and walked home cursing their scouts. Lieut. General Alderson had us up today, and congratulated us. The Duc de Montmorency, and two more Generals were also there. Everybody seemed

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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