Brave Local Lads

Lance Corpl W.J. Wall of 6th Buffs sends to the "Gazette" some interesting details of a charge made by them on the 13th instant (October 1915), when the Battalion saw severe fighting and suffered heavy losses. L/cpl Wall is the second son of Mr Arthur Wall of 7 Borden Lane. The father has joined the Labour Battalion R.E and has been at the front for some weeks. A yonger brother, Alfred Wall joined the 3/4th Buffs during the recruiting campaign at Sittingbourne a fortnight ago.

The L/cpl writes:

Our Battalion went into action on Wednesday last. We have been out at the front since June 1st. Having been in the trenches for 79 days at a stretch, without a rest. We quickly moved to another part of the lines and witnessed the finishing of one of the greatest battles of this war. Our Division relieved the boys who took part in the great battle, all heros they were. We were then at a place where they are "strafing" every day. After being in the firing trench for five days we were drawn back as reserves for three days.

On the 13th, the day of our charge, we got the order to pack our small kit up and put our names on them. At 11 o'clock we got the order to go up into the shell trenches. Then the artillery starts its work, right to the second at 12 o'clock. It was like hell let loose for the whole two hours that the bombardment lasted. Shells were dropping in front and behind our trench, but luck was with us, and they couldn't drop them in our trench.

Then our boys got the order to charge, and they went over as men, and those that fell in the attempt died like heros. Kent can always be proud to think that her County men are such heros. At five o'clock it quietened down, and at dusk we began our errand of mercy, collecting the wounded.

We were relived on the morning of the 14th instant, and it was then that we carried our wounded down to the advanced dressing station. They had been laying in trenches for hours, and stood the punishment very bravely. It was at the advanced dressing station that we saw the first R.A.M.C men, about three miles behind the firing line.

We get the "Gazette" here nearly every week, and it cheers us up to get news from our native town. C Denne from Sittingbourne was "gassed" by a shell, but he is getting on well as far as we know. I will close now, with remembrances from all the Sittingbourne lads.

PS - I have just met a few boys from Sittingbourne in our second Battalion. They are going on well, having got through their battle of three weeks ago.