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SAVING THE BRITISH GUNS

" ONE OF THE MOST GALLANT ACTS OF THE WAR." L BATTERY HEROES. The real story of the saving of the L Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery is told by an officer 'at the front. There have been many accounts of what the officer describes as " one of tho most gallant fights during the war." The following i 3 the officer's story of the action : "The battery got into bivouac after dark on the night of August 31 near the little village of Nery, about 12 miles south-west of. Compiegne. A squadron of the Queen's Bays were bivouacked in the same field. In the morning, while the men were having their breakfasts and before the river mists had yet cleared away, the camp was startled by tho sound of guns very close to. Soon the shells began to fall among the teams harnessed up ready to march. In two minutes the was not a horse living in the field, and many men were lying about killed and wounded. Captain Bradbury, R.H.A., and Lieutenants John Campbell, Mundy, and Giffard each tried to. bring guns int.; action against the Germans, who had eight guns and were only 500 yards away Captain Bradbury succeeded in getting* his gun into action, and seeing there was no chance of the other guns being brought to bear, he called their detachments over to lend a hand to his gun. Lieutenant Giffard was wounded in four places getting across to the gun. The detachment then consisted of the three officers, Sergeant-major Dorrell, a sergeant, and a gunner and driver, every other man on the field being killed or wounded. Unfortunately they could not get an ammunition waggon alongside the gun, so had to carry up each round separately. Captain Bradbury early in the fight had one log taken off by a shell, but insisted on still directing the fire of the gun. Lieutenant John Campbell behaved in the most gallant way bringing up am munition, and was killed, just as he had brought' up the last round from the waggon. Lieutenant Mundy had his leg practically taken off by a 'shell and has since died. He could not see how the fire was going, so stepped out to have a better look, saying: "lhoy can't hit me,' and there he stayed observing till a shell wounded him. —Bullet-riddled Guns.— " But still the fight went on. Sergeantmajor Dorrell, aided by the sergeant and the gunner and driver, brought up ammunition from another waggon, ana then poor Bradbury, who refused to give in, was struck by another shell. This gun did not cease fire till they had used round of ammunition in tho waggon, aiid alone it succeeded in knocking out 'our gnns of the Germans. L Battery finally arrived, and with the help of a machine gun of the Bays silenced the other four German guns, the eight bein~ captured. It is an open secret that Captain Bradbury was to have had tho V.C. had he lived, and were posthumous V.C.s given both he and Lieutenant John Campbell would certainly have got them. Lieutenant Mundy was recommended for the V.C, but died from his wounds. Lieutenant Giffard, the solo surviving officer, lias been awarded the French Order of Merit. Sergeant-major Dorrell and the sergeant have both been recommended foIhe V.C, and the gunner and driver for the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Though owing to the German fire L Battery's guns are never likely to be of use again, they are at the base for a memorial to the gallant officers and men. No better trophy will ever be shown than these Jjc bullet-riddled guns."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141223.2.2

Bibliographic details

SAVING THE BRITISH GUNS, Evening Star, Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

Word Count
609

SAVING THE BRITISH GUNS Evening Star, Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

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