By William Turner
Follow the footsteps of the neighbors of their trip from Lancashire to their education camps in England and Wales and to the villages and battlefields of France. A complete account, with maps and photographs, of a acquaintances Battalion's provider through the battle.
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As he shouted “Heave, you lot. Heave! ” someone shouted, “Stop! ” The slave-driver was furious! Funny how some sergeants had no sense of humour. The next joke was on me. There I was, half-dead, my hands red raw, and there, sitting on a box watching the performance, was Lt. Kershaw’s batman. As I looked at him, sweat filled my eyes and I had to wipe them with my sleeve. ’ The landing stage at Port Said, where the Ionic disembarked in January 1916. (The Pals Collection) By mid-February it became clear that the Turks were unlikely to risk an attack on the Suez Canal across the Sinai Desert.
Some of the water quenched my thirst and some helped to clean up a little. Then I realised that the bombs in the dump would not be required and I had wasted my endeavours. I was very tired. I was dazed, but I knew where I was and what I was detailed to do. , but the bayonet on my rifle was broken off and the bolt had snapped although it fitted in metal grooves. As time passed our barrage seemed to weaken into nothing, but the Germans gave no respite and their heavies pounded the forward areas as well as the rear, where they probably thought our reserves would be forming.
We do know that he, in common with the rest of the draft, went into the trenches for the first time ever on 30 June. We also know that two friends, 24787 Pte. Thomas Taylor, age 29, and 24797 Pte. James Allan Watson, age 28, were killed in action. Another friend, 24798 Pte. W. Mallinson, was wounded. Pte. Taylor is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, whilst Pte. Watson is buried in Euston Road Cemetery in grave no. I G 22. Percy Crabtree was born in Padiham, near Burnley, in 1888. He returned to teaching after the war.
Accrington Pals Trail by William Turner