September 30th 1915

Captain Charlie Childe (Gloucester Regiment) reports that trench warfare in some sectors has become less than chivalrous with regards the treatment of prisoners:

Charlie Childe

Captain CM Childe

21/9/15. “Here is a pleasant tit-bit, which ought to be framed in gold. The French Staff report that at Souchez (about 8 miles north of Arras) last week they captured 2000 of the breed, pumped them dry of information, disarmed them and then packed them off down a communication trench. A Zouave or two were waiting round a traverse and, as each Deutsche filed past, he was gracefully and neatly dispatched; cf. Agag of old. The French don’t want prisoners – all they want is scalps, and you would feel the same after a long weekend in the Glory Hole Orchard.”

Charlie mentioned the “Glory Hole” in his journal last month:

“My four guns covered a frontage which included a bit called the ‘Glory Hole.’ The average distance across to ‘Germany’ is 450 yards, but 40 yards at the ‘Glory Hole’ jutting out into a sharp salient…

A salient is always a cheerful spot. You get potted from all directions, sides, back and front, and in the same way flares go up all night too. Also you come within range of a variety of attractions, such as bombs, rifle-grenades, unpleasantly near snipers, pip-squeaks, whizz-bangs, and all the other devices of the people opposite, and lastly and best of all, their horrible minenwurfer.

This throws a bomb of very high explosive, 3 feet long by 12 inches diameter. The bomb goes vertically up to a great height and then curves over and falls with a soft, heavy ‘wop’ and then, just as you put yourself on the back and say ‘it isn’t going off this time,’ you hear a roar like absolutely nothing on earth and it shakes the ground for two or three acres or more. The effect though is extraordinarily local, just a hole varying from 15 feet by 6 feet to 10 feet by 5 feet.”

 

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