Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Yankee in the Trenches R. Derby Holmes

Hiking To Vimy Ridge

Page 3 of 4

Table Of Contents: A  Yankee in the Trenches

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

The Pimple forms a part of the well-known Vimy Ridge--is a semi-detached extension of it--and lies between it and the Souchez sector. After a rest here we got into the trenches skirting the Pimple and soon came out on the Quarries. This was a bowl-like depression formed by an old quarry. The place gave a natural protection and all around the edge were dug-outs which had been built by the French, running back into the hill, some of them more than a hundred feet.

In the darkness we could see braziers glowing softly red at the mouth of each burrow. There was a cheerful, mouth-watering smell of cookery on the air, a garlicky smell, with now and then a whiff of spicy wood smoke.

We were hungry and thirsty, as well as tired, and shed our packs at the dug-outs assigned us and went at the grub and the char offered us by the men we were relieving, the Northumberland Fusiliers.

The dug-outs here in the Quarries were the worst I saw in France. They were reasonably dry and roomy, but they had no ventilation except the tunnel entrance, and going back so far the air inside became simply stifling in a very short time.

I took one inhale of the interior atmosphere and decided right there that I would bivouac in the open. It was just getting down to "kip" when a sentry came up and said I would have to get inside. It seemed that Fritz had the range of the Quarries to an inch and was in the habit of sending over "minnies" at intervals just to let us know he wasn't asleep.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

I had got settled down comfortably and was dozing off when there came a call for C company. I got the men from my platoon out as quickly as possible, and in half an hour we were in the trenches.

Number 10 platoon was assigned to the center sector, Number 11 to the left sector, and Number 12 to the right sector. Number 9 remained behind in supports in the Quarries.

Now when I speak of these various sectors, I mean that at this point there was no continuous line of front trenches, only isolated stretches of trench separated by intervals of from two hundred to three hundred yards of open ground. There were no dug-outs. It was impossible to leave these trenches except under cover of darkness--or to get to them or to get up rations. They were awful holes. Any raid by the Germans in large numbers at this time would have wiped us out, as there was no means of retreating or getting up reinforcements.

The Tommies called the trenches Grouse Spots. It was a good name. We got into them in the dense darkness of just before dawn. The division we relieved gave us hardly any instruction, but beat it on the hot foot, glad to get away and anxious to go before sun-up. As we settled down in our cosey danger spots I heard Rolfie, the frog-voiced baritone, humming one of his favorite coster songs:

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
A Yankee in the Trenches
R. Derby Holmes

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004