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Three years in France with the Guns: Being Episodes in the life of a Field Battery   By:

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First Page:

[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected. The original spelling has been retained. The caption of the illustration page 38 was unclear. Page 50: "serious of raids" has been replaced by "series of raids" Page 76: "must against" has been replaced by "much against"]

THREE YEARS IN FRANCE

WITH THE GUNS,

BEING

EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF A FIELD

BATTERY.

BY

C.A. ROSE, M.C.,

LATE OF THE

ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY.

Printed By The Allen Lithographic Co., Ltd., Kirkcaldy

INTRODUCTION.

These brief notes of experiences with the guns for thirty eight months in France were primarily penned for my own satisfaction. Friends who read the manuscript expressed much interest in it, and added the hope that it might be given a more permanent form. Hence it is that it is now printed for private circulation.

The story is a simple record of the fortunes of my own Battery and Brigade, and is intended as a tribute to the good comradeship which existed, under all conditions, among all ranks. C.A.R. EDINBURGH, January, 1919.

CONTENTS.

Chapter I., Breaking us in, 1

" II., Our First Battle, 8

" III., "Peace Warfare." 15

" IV., In "the Salient," 23

" V., On the Somme, 30

" VI., Messines, 39

" VII., Ypres Again, 47

" VIII., Cambrai, 60

" IX., At Arras, 68

" X., March the 21st, 73

" XI., The Turn of the Tide, 78

" XII., Through the Hindenburg Line, 83

[Illustration: The "Grey Battery" at St. Omer, May 1917]

CHAPTER I. (p. 001)

Breaking Us In.

On a morning early in August, 1915, the Brigade disembarked at Havre without mishap to man, horse, or material, and proceeded to a Rest Camp on the outskirts of the town. We were in France at last! The same evening the Batteries started to entrain, and every two hours a complete unit was despatched up the line to an unknown destination. The men received refreshments at various Haltes, and the horses were duly watered and fed, but the journey was, on the whole, long and tedious. On one occasion only was the monotony broken, and that unwittingly, by the humour of one of the officers. In the course of the evening, the train stopped at a small station, and the compartment in which the officers were settled drew up in front of the Buffet. Some one asked where we were, and a subaltern, anxious to display his newly acquired knowledge of French, replied, "Bouvette," which called forth no response. Shortly afterwards the train proceeded on its way, and the occupants of the carriage settled themselves down to sleep. All passed quietly for the next couple of hours then the train stopped once more, and, as luck would have it, again our carriage came to a standstill directly opposite the buffet of the station. At once a question was asked as to our whereabouts. The same subaltern, shaking himself out of a deep slumber, stretched, roused himself, and, peering out of the window, exclaimed, "Good Lor', still at this beastly hole, 'Bouvette'!" He expressed much surprise at the "unseemly mirth," as he described it, which followed!!

After detraining, the Battery marched through beautiful country, which reminded one of the Borders, as it was not unlike the valley of the Tweed, and we were at once taken to the hearts of the inhabitants (p... Continue reading book >>




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