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SONG AND PRAYER IN THE TRENCHES

! FREXCH OFFICER TELLS OF | AWESOME NIGHTS. i [Extracts from a letter datrd October 12 ' from a young French officer in the fighting line near Rheims.] " Soon it wi:! be a full month that we hnv<s been here in frost of tho German umches, ourselves, too, earth td in deep trenches, neither of us having been able to advance an inoli. , . . We are face to face, this ."i'rmins and ourselves, about, five or six hundred varls cp.trt. They and wo, every night W'-j dig ou-rivo in fir'Vr. Wo arc, both of u«, conducting a veritable sirgo warfare, waiting tin i: on ot.e s.ui or tho other an energetic offensive can be undertaken. I ihink myself that it will be up to uf 1o mal:*> a s'att. bifore long. Anyhow, v.c do not luck detractions in our holes in ihe g-ound . . . The evening hours aro especially imprefsive. Sometimes tho horizon is afire. Oi:c hoars the whir of motors, and one puts one's bosk out. It is a Taube It throws out blazing fireworks in signnl pnsit'r.r.s to the : r 1-pbw ariilVry. Two minutes later huge shells pass overhead from five or six kilometres away. Soon ours anjwer tl;;m, and whistlo ever us in the conlrary diree'icu. All wr. have to do in to watch the duel. "In contrast, there era nights of real refreshment—not a sound; inky blackness. Wc know the Germans are only 500 vrids nwav. Wc strain our ears in vnin. Suddenly a vftguo murmuring. It is they who nre offe:ing thoir cvering praye—their Ernyer after they have eper.t a whole day ombardirg the ea'hedrall Aft«r the prayer tome of them sing laments, liedcr, refrain* of the homeland. Yesterday I heard in their rear an accordion accompany ng them. Other noises, too, genera ly from their poiitions. After nightfall thdr supply waggons oome rattlin? in Pix or e g-ht kilometres away a railway lino was across our front. We hear the loccmctive. . Some shots on our right or on ou lc f * One or two scouts come buck woundf-d. . " Towsfdi midnigM the oa!m b'ccme? almost complete. Nothini? reacbep 'etfts but tho Bound of chopping in the forest—for they hare u- at ou" expense—and the blows of the mallets upon ! the stakes, which thev as well as w» nro driving in'o the ground to strveh rr tattgk-rrwnts upon. . . ■ Br" ,; <i" a" ar", from time to tim°, tragic nThe of-er evening, towa'd- 7 r'c'ock. ff"l veils made us leap up—rea'ly li>yelling of wild Vasts, hoarse and gmt interrupted w r th the blast of huge; fin and truly lugubrious. . . . It i« two re- i-h-ento wbo have sprung at us from lest than 50 yards away, who pour suddenly into our advanced trine'es. . . . Thevar oi'pwd ""'«■• bv a macb-'ne irun Bect : on pushed forward in hast* through the obscurity." Afld eo dajr after dw» audit- alter night.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141217.2.59

Bibliographic details

SONG AND PRAYER IN THE TRENCHES, Issue 15678, 17 December 1914

Word Count
479

SONG AND PRAYER IN THE TRENCHES Issue 15678, 17 December 1914

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