By William Cull
Read Online or Download Both Sides of the Wire: The Memoir of an Australian Officer Captured During the Great War PDF
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Extra resources for Both Sides of the Wire: The Memoir of an Australian Officer Captured During the Great War
Docile as a child and still in deadly fear, he was handed over to one of my men to take back while I worked further down the trench. 7 All at once a wave of battle nausea, in the smell of blood, of death, of explosives and upturned earth, and the stale, foul odour of the trenches, surged over me, and in sheer dismay I thought, ‘Good God! ’ However sadly you may have cause to reflect after battle, there’s not much time for introspection on the very edge of it. There was great temptation to push a success to completion, and in the excitement of action, with battle lust burning redly, men are not easily called off.
From 1915 until the end of the war, the British Committee on the treatment by the enemy of British prisoners of war regularly released reports on the conditions Allied prisoners were facing in enemy captivity. These reports were based on interviews from the wounded and sick who had been repatriated to England, escaped prisoners of war, and various forms of correspondence that had been mediated by the neutral countries to and from the German War Ministry. Excerpts were routinely published in the British press, where they proved to be of great propaganda value, but Australians were mortified when reports from occupied France told for the first time how their own troops were faring in the hands of the German Army.
A. Cull, Sergeant H. Payne, Privates O. Johnson and A. Cumstie. Alexander Cumstie, who had fine qualities as a scout, was killed on the following night. I had great pleasure in recommending Herbert Payne, a solid, ever-reliable soldier, both for a decoration and promotion but the honours came too late. At Pozières soon afterwards he was sent to take a German strong post on the Bapaume Road. Twice he led his men against it, only to be beaten back with loss. Before leaving the trench for a third attack, he quietly shook hands with his friends and gave concise directions as to the disposal of his effects.