Mexborough & Swinton Times, April 1917
Denaby NCO´s account of the fighting
Company Sergeant Major Fred W Rudd
(York and Lancs)
of Denaby, in a letter to a friend, Mr G Falkingham , Braithwell Street, Denaby Main gives an interesting account of the recent fighting in France. He says;
“I dare say you will have heard about us. We caught It pretty thick, and no error, but our casualties were mostly wounded; very few killed.
We went over the top about 3:30 AM under as beautiful a barrage as one could wish for. As soon as it lifted we were into them, losing very few men, but about six o’clock Fritz started and dropped four beauties right into us, and counter attacked, it was murder. We let them have it.
Their first wave reached our line, but did not get out again. That’s where we lost our men, but we held on for four days and nights, and then we were relieved.
Some of our wounded lay between us and the enemy, and we could not get them in until last night, as the nights were bright as the days. It was awful to hear them are not to be able to help them. Several tried either before the moon rose just before the dawn, they got it from the Bosch snipers.
I thought I should have got a decoration for something I did on March 10, but the Colonel was wounded, and my officer commanding was killed. However decorations are earned hourly by nearly every man in every ‘stunt’.
I have been recommended for a commission and refused it, as I am better off as I am. The adjutant however says I shall have to take it.”