Soldier – Humphreys J – Royal Welsh Fusiliers

January 1915

Mexborough Times, January 30th 1915

Private, J Humphreys
Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Private Humphreys, 3 Calder Terrace, Low road, Conisbrough, of the First Royal Welsh Fusiliers, at present on furlough, through damage to the cartilage of the knee, has had a thrilling experience in France, whilst serving with his regiment.

Previous to then he lived four years ago, at Wrexham, where he had been engaged as a miner in a Welsh pit.

He left England in October, and landed at Havre. He proceeded to Ypres, where he first smelt powder. Humphrey’s regiment afterwards proceeded to La Bassee, where he spent nine weeks in the trenches. He states that he and his comrades were often up to the knees in water, and found shelter in the dugouts. The latter were at times flooded. At such times they had no shelter or sleep, and had to rest as best they could. They were well provided with food. Private Humphreys has a fine opinion of the English officers.

On 18 December, the fight was so severe that Humphreys expected he would never see home again. The Welsh Fusiliers were called up to assist the Warwickshire’s, who were extremely hard pressed, and lost a large number of men.

Humphreys fell in the rush and injured the cartilage of his knee. He says the noise was deafening, and the ground was much cutup and very clayey. After his injury he was drafted off to Havre, which was reached on Christmas day. He arrived at Sheffield hospital on New Year’s Day, where he was a patient for 16 days. After his injury he managed to limp back to the trenches. He states that the respective trenches are about 150 yards apart. The German snipers are good shots, yet not so accurate as the English. Greetings of “good morning!” were exchanged between the trenches frequently and Gramophones could be heard from the German trenches. Private Humphreys walks with a stiff knee. His leave expires on Friday, February 5, when, if fit, he will return to the depot of his regiment at Wrexham