Series 01: Anne Donnell circular letters, 25 May 1915 - 8 July 1918 - Page 248

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[Page 248]

to him a voice from a stretcher opposite calls out "Sister that Australian saved my life and if he hadn't he wouldn't have got wounded." I soon discover that the Aus. Is a South Australian and attached to the 1st King Edwards' Horse. As his regiment were marching somewhere near this helpless wounded boy he stepped out and assisted him to a place of safety, and twas when he was on his way to join up with his reg. that Fritz shot him in the foot. "Tis a severe wound (I have just recently heard from him, and although he has had 4 operations, the Dr. is not sure of being able to save his foot). He suffered very much from pain and shock and I kept him all day and made myself snatch a minute now and then for a little chat. He seemed delighted and proud of Australian.

Now I am chatting on, but the next item on the list came on the 6th December when matron insisted that I go off duty for 2 hours. I wonder what I shall do with that precious 2 hrs. I decide to go for a walk and fortunately meet a Canadian Sister with a Padre, and they invite me to go with them to see some old German dugouts, so with our helmets and gas respirators off we go. The air, though cold, was delightfully fresh. It was very interesting wandering over this shell broken ground that the Germans evacuated over this shell broken ground that the Germans evacuated on March 18th 1917 with its barbed wire entanglements and dugouts and old trenches. Here and there we came upon little white crosses – French, British and German. We looked at one German one with this inscription underneath the iron cross –

Den Hildentod
FurSein Vaterland Starbder
(The hero for his Fatherland has died)

apart from these wonderful dugouts of theirs that penetrate deep into the earth and then extend ever so far, I was interested in the old trenches and particularly the spaces that you would come upon every 50 yards or so that were used by the snipers. They commented such a clear range for miles and miles – no wonder our troops had such difficulty in advancing, I picked up a German shell case, as did Sister. The ground is very hard to walk upon, so uneven because of the shell holes (the children could have a great game of hide and seek in them). We see too the fresh holes made by the last two nights' bombing. On the

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