which I carried in my left
breast pocket, but didn't
penetrate thru a thick
package of letters underneath.
I was knocked down, & almost
lost consciousness. By this
time the Germans had
put up a terrific counter
barrage & I was caught in the
open. I dove headlong
into a small shell hole,
just made, & lay there wonder-
ing how long it would be
before I went west. Shells
were exploding all around
me but I was hit only
by chunks of flying dirt.
I realized that my chances of
living thru a barrage in
that small shell hole were
very slender, so muttering
a half forgotten prayer
I ran hell bent for
election to a trench
some few hundred yds.
distant. I never expected to
reach it alive, but somehow
none of the shells & bullets
whistling by my head
never touched me. I dove into
the trench & with my shovel
dug deeper for more protection.
When the barrage lifted, the
men in my platoon were
ordered to the rear as we
were of no further use
with a wrecked gun. But
I saw our tanks crawling
into action, firing as they
advanced, & stayed on the
battlefield to watch them.
Following the tanks came
the Australians, smoking
& walking calmly forward.
Suddenly the tanks ran
over a mine field & were
blown up. The explosion
was terrific, & the men
inside were all killed
or burned alive.