Tues. Sept. 25 (cont) We got out to Hooge Tunnel without further loss. The motor lorries were all ablaze, & we got past them at the "toots" as they were such a good mark for Fritz. & he put his "big stuff" over thick & heavy. There were plenty of wounded coming thro & we were kept busy. Just near where poor Phil got knocked was "Hell Fire Corner" & never was a place better named. We had to carry about 1½ miles to the A.D.S. past the burning lorries & to add to the excitement, a dump caught fire, & Mills Bombs & cartridges were banging away in all directions. Bullecourt was bad enough, but it was a "Home" compared to this sport. One of our squads composed of Bill Hippersley, Lew Ballard, Mat Doyle, & Henry Mercer, got about 50 yds away from out dug out with a Patient, when a shell dropped among them. It blew poor old Mat & Lew & the patient to pieces,
Hooge Tunnel & Crater
blew one of Henry's legs off, & slightly injured Bill Hippersley. Poor old Mercer died soon after reaching the dressing station. Soon after this "Towny" got his right hand badly smashed.
Our list of casualties was getting very high. It was a great relief to get back to our Tunnel as it was very strongly built & one felt fairly safe inside it. It was built by the Germans & runs along for about 5 miles. Fritz used to bring his troops along it at one time. In places it is blown in, & now forms a series of very serviceable dug-outs. Owing to so many casualties we had plenty of rations. Wyn Arthur was the next to get a "souvenir" from Fritz. A small piece of shrapnel hit him in the shoulder. It was not serious & after they had dressed him at the A.D.S. [Advanced Dressing Station] they sent him back to duty, as we were so short of men.