Sunday, 12 October 2008

Ninety Years On. Remembering the First World War (12)

Extract from ‘Notes For A Parish History’ (ERO T/P 188/3) written by Revd. E. H. L Reeve of Stondon Massey (Essex).

12th October 1918

The wonderful advance continues. The Germans have made application to the United States, through President Wilson, for an armistice and for preliminary “conversations” with a view to peace.

We have heard that Leonard Hasler, a Parishioner, who has only lately gone to France, has been badly wounded in the face. The intimation was sent by a Chaplain at Boulogne to his mother (now re-married and Mrs Conn) and a telegram was received soon after from the Hospital inviting Mrs Conn to proceed to France to see her son – all facilities given and expenses paid.

Mrs Conn is “no traveller”, but she has decided to try to venture, and we await her story.

Leonard Hasler is in the 3rd Bn of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt. His brother, twice torpedoed, and “gassed” in France, has returned home convalescent from Hospital at Colchester and Bures, but too late to escort his mother to the ship. Herbert is now discharged as unfit but has well “done his bit” for the war, wounded in France and convalescent he was proceeding with a draft of 50 men from his Regt from Marseilles to Alexandria in Dec 1917 when on Dec 31st he was torpedoed just the further side of Gibraltar. Rescued and placed on another vessel he was torpedoed a second time the same night within three or four miles of the same spot, and only 13 men out of a draft of 50 lived to reach Egypt. He took part in one battle, and then suffering from gas he was taken to Hospital. Another brother, William, has been killed.

Next entry: 15th October 1918

No comments: