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WOMEN IN BATTLE

AMERICAN MOTHER'S TERRIBLE STORY. ON THE EAST PRUSSIAN FRONTIER, An American woman who spent the night behind the trenches with her three children during tho battle ou tho Rue-sia.n-Ge.rman frontier, and who. with her own hands, buried two of her children win > died from exposure, returned tonight (says the New York ccirrcspoudcut of tho ' San Frantrisoo Chronicle' under date September 12) on the Cunard liner Campania with her one remaining child. H-sr husband, Curtis Gibbs, who is at their home it:' Berkeley, Ca!., does not yet know of iu's wife's terrible experience. " I whs in Wirbailsn, in RuseJa, near the Gentian frontier, visiting my_ brother-in-law. whoa the war broke out," raid Mrs Gibb*. "Mv three children wera with lira —Curtis, junior, aged seven; Orleana Anna, aged four; and Martha, aged three. Little .Martha is the only one who en me through the terrible experience alive, and she is he.ro with me. On the second day of August there was a battle just outside, Wii'ballon, between tho Germans; and Russians. Wo could hear the roar and see tho smoke. Sounds kept coining nearer, and people began to flee, from the town. Finally the tiring got ■so cb~.se that .I decided to take my three children and ilee. I started on foot with no luergage. I was f=o frightened that I do not know which way 1 went, but I walked ri;rjit into th-e. centre of the battle, right between the firing. Several Russian soldiers jumped out of the trenches, and dragged my children and myself dow'.l in the trenches with the-ui. Then there -.van nothing to do but to fit ay there. Thero was a hail of idiot falling all around us. We sat cramped up in the trenches all nitrht, with the soldiers firin-g on each sirio of it-. Mv little boy had been ill. He had fever. ~\ inghf in" the trench was more than he could "stand. He died at rlawn 011 August 3." Mrs Gibk,s then dcehled that to save the lives ot her two little girls s-he must ret them out of the druiiD trenches. They had had nothing to eat. With the two girls clintring to hor r-kirts, she carried her dead boy in her r.rm.-i and made her way back into town dunntr a lull in the iirtVirr. The town was deserted. " I went to my brother-in-law's home, and found no one about." Mrs Gibbs continued. "I wanted my boy to have a decent burial, .so I carried 'him to the undertaker's. Th"re, as everywhere else, no one was rbotit. but the".shop was open. I went in ami nicked out, a little roihu. Then 1 hid the boy in it." ;■;>■_■ Gibbs "managed to drag the coffin to her brother-in-law's house. She had re-itlier time nor strength left to dig a grav-\ but she scooped out a little hole iu the vard, ,vt the coflin in if. end keai'ed ionic dirt over it. Then she took the "two rrirls and (started ayain on to<t t.. (lee f rcm the battle. She walked toward the west, -she said, and she and the children .slept under the stars, without food. She arrived at Vilna. Russia, on August 7, and there her four-year-old ilaut'hter. Orleana, died from >• Tho people were kind to mo," she said. "Two men helped me bury the child ill a Telle oemeterv in Vilna. I went away atrl left, her there." From Vilna Airs Gibbs went to Landwar;; wo, and then to Qrborg. in Finland. From Orborg she was helped to Norway, aed u!t.imat:'v e pas-.i-ge was provided t". r h-r nn 11 steamer that took lir-r to England. The Russian authorities, in ;-,-,,,,;,,;.-,-. j., i-couests from h-iT relatives in the' T'uhed States, had managed to loe.ate her •;', I.e--'warawo, and thereafter everything possible was done to help her.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141027.2.50

Bibliographic details

WOMEN IN BATTLE, Issue 15634, 27 October 1914

Word Count
635

WOMEN IN BATTLE Issue 15634, 27 October 1914

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