EIGHT

I WASN'T wounded till late in 1916.

We'd just come out of the trenches and were marching over a bit of road a mile or so back which was supposed to be safe, but which the Germans must have got the range of some time earlier. Suddenly they started putting a few shells over--it was heavy H.E. stuff, and they were only firing about one a minute. There was the usual zwee-e-e-e! and then BOOM! in a field somewhere over to the right. I think it was the third shell that got me. I knew as soon as I heard it coming that it had my name written on it. They say you always know. It didn't say what an ordinary shell says. It said, "I'm after you, you b----, you, you b----, YOU!"--all this in the space of about three seconds. And the last YOU was the explosion.

I felt as if an enormous hand made of air were sweeping me along. And presently I came down with a sort of burst, shattered feeling among a lot of old tin cans, splinters of wood, rusty barbed wire, turds, empty cartridge cases and other muck in the ditch at the side of the road. When they'd hauled me out and cleaned some of the dirt off me they found that I wasn't very badly hurt. It

-129-

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Coming Up for Air
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • 1 1
  • One 3
  • Two 11
  • Three 19
  • Four 25
  • II 37
  • One 39
  • Two 47
  • Three 64
  • Four 77
  • Five - Fishing! 93
  • Six 102
  • Seven 106
  • Eight 129
  • Nine 145
  • Ten 154
  • III 167
  • One 169
  • Three 202
  • IV 207
  • One 209
  • Three 232
  • Four 241
  • Five 249
  • Six 261
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