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Over The Top Arthur Guy Empey

Battery D 238

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It was Old Scotty's great ambition to be a sniper or "body snatcher" as Mr. Atkins calls it. The day that he was detailed as Brigade Sniper, he celebrated his appointment by blowing the whole platoon to fags.

Being a Yank, Old Scotty took a liking to me and used to spin some great yams about the plains, and the whole platoon would drink these in and ask for more. Ananias was a rookie compared with him.

The ex-plainsman and discipline could not agree, but the officers all liked him, even if he was hard to manage. So when he was detailed as a sniper, a sigh of relief went up from the officers' mess.

Old Scotty had the freedom of the Brigade. He used to draw two or three days' rations and disappear with his glass, range finder, and rifle, and we would see or hear no more of him, until suddenly he would reappear with a couple of notches added to those already on the butt of his rifle. Every time he got a German it meant another notch. He was proud of these notches.

But after a few months Father Rheumatism got him and he was sent to Blighty; the air in the wake of his stretcher was blue with curses. Old Scotty surely could swear; some of his outbursts actually burned you.

No doubt, at this writing he is "somewhere in Blighty" pussy footing it on a bridge or along the wall of some munition plant with the "G. R," or Home Defence Corps.

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Over The Top
Arthur Guy Empey

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