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Mail Tribune 100

Aug. 30, 1914

LONDON, Aug. 29, 3:30 a.m. — The Chronicle's Boulogne correspondent sends the personal story of a wounded soldier who has arrived there and who declared he was one of the 30 survivors of a British company of 2,000 troops who were practically wiped out by the German artillery. His story was as follows:

"We were five solid days in the trenches and moved backwards and forwards all the time with the varying tide of battle.

"It was about 2 o'clock in the morning when the end came. Things had got quieter and our officers came along the line and told us to get some sleep. We were preparing to obey when a light or something else gave us away and we found ourselves in an inferno of bullets.

"We could do nothing. Down on us the shrapnel hailed and we felt the score. At the same time, the enemy's Maxims opened fire. We were almost without shelter when we were caught and we crawled along in front to find cover.

" 'Leave everything and retire,' was the order, and we did what we could to obey. I don't know how long it lasted, but when dawn came I could see not more than 30 men left in the various sections of the field. Thirty at the most were left out of 2,000.

"I wandered away from the others and eventually found myself ... with a single companion. That was the first time the German artillery really got at us. As a rule their gunfire was mighty poor."

(In the previous story the censor has eliminated the name of the town where the fight occurred.)

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