by ehistoryadmin on June 30, 2016

Kildare Observer 15 July 1916

Straffan Man in Big Offensive



Private T. J. Goucher, Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Mr. G. Goucher, Bishopscourt, Straffan, one of three brothers at present serving in France, gives some interesting details of his experiences with the Ulster Division in the big offensive of last week, in a letter to his mother.

“We went into the trenches on the night of June 30th,” he says. “At 5 next morning, July 1st, we got some tea; at 8 o’clock we topped the parapet like men. Over we went through cannons, machine guns, rifle fire, bombs and everything you could mention, into the German lines. My God, what a sight! It was absolutely Hell all that day – poor fellows blown to pieces, heads here and legs and arms there, some riddled with bullets. I was along with our officer in the German lines. He was wounded in the back and the blood ran down and filled his boots, but he stuck it for 13 hours – from 9 in the morning till ten at night – the Germans bombing us nearly all the time. We had to lie down till it got dark; then we tried to crawl in, but the officer did not seem to be in luck, for he got shot again in the legs. He then gave me his field glasses to keep and told me to go on myself, as there was no use in the two of us getting done for. We were only twenty yards from the Germans at that time. I had to crawl 300 yards to get to our lines, and, thank God, I got safe, though I had some wonderful escapes. My chums are gone all but two of them, but I tell you we gave it to the Germans hot with bayonet, bullet and boot – anything that was handy. We were up against the Prussian Guard, the pick of the German Army, but I am happy to say the pick of the British Army was against them, for we took about 600 prisoners and got great praise for our gallantry.”

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