I never expected to get out of this place


‘… there is nothing but shell holes in this part …’

Pte Vernon Braddock: Old Fritz must have had an idea we were coming, because he didn’t half send shells over for us to share. We got to our jumping off position and when it came time to move we got off all right and when a short distance from the enemy’s wire, he opened up on us. I stopped a piece of bomb in the fleshy part of the right thigh, and several other chaps stopped some of the same bomb, because where I got in a shell hole (there is nothing but shell holes in this part) there were three or four other chaps there calling for help. As I was not seriously wounded, I bandaged the other chaps up and one of them helped me bandage myself. When we were all ready we crept back to an old trench and Fritz didn’t half shell us. I never expected to get out of the place, and men were falling all around. I forgot to mention the place where we went over was called Pozieres but there is no village there now.
– M.C., Maryborough WB&B Historical Society, Letters from the Front Line.

Sig. Harry Allen: Our Battalion was not actually in Pozieres but we were just on the right of it. We were in the trenches for 2 days before we charged the German lines. Our battalion was ordered to take 2 lines of trenches. Not too nice a feeling goes through you when they tell you what you have got to take.

Anyway, we took the 2 lines but I am sorry to say we lost of lot of the Battalion in the charge. Major Young, who belongs to Maryborough, and in charge of D Company, was wounded. There were a lot killed also. Sgt. Kenyon was killed, one of the old 9th chaps, better known as ‘Darkey’. We went over the top of the parapet early on Sunday morning, about 2 o’clock. There was a general advance along the British front and on the French also, The French were on the right of us. The whole of our artillery was bombarding with the French for nights and days before we went over the top.

You could barely hear yourself speak for guns going off and shells whizzing through the air and bursting. It was a sight to see our artillery blowing Pozieres to pieces. It was a fair-sized village but today it is all pretty well lying on the ground. When we charged the German trenches we had no trouble taking the first line but the second line we did not take so easily. We had to charge through heavy machine gun fire.

We took the trench though and I tell you Fritz got a lively time when we entered. He suffered heavily and we showed no mercy. There were dead Germans lying all over the shop when we got in the trench. That was what our artillery killed. There were German helmets and rifles all over the trench. The Germans thought they were there to stop but they soon had to get out. They have terribly deep dugouts. They usually go right away down in the ground about 30 feet. I did not hang on too long in the new trenches before I was wounded. I was in them from the time we took them till I was wounded. That was from Sunday morning till Tuesday morning. The whole of our brigade was cut up.
– M.C., Maryborough WB&B Historical Society, Letters from the Front Line.