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.
Permanent link to this item
SONG AND PRAYER IN THE TRENCHES, Evening Star, Issue 15678, 17 December 1914
SONG AND PRAYER IN THE TRENCHES Evening Star, Issue 15678, 17 December 1914
Using This Item
Allied Press Ltd is the copyright owner for the Evening Star. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Allied Press Ltd. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.