BRITISH OFFICER GAINS. THE IRON CROSS
* rOR SAVING A GERMAN UNDER FIRE. .The following communication has been received by the London ' Daily Mail' from a chauffeur at th© front: — No notice need be taken of my appeal for an overcoat, etc., as one of our officers has removed the decorations from his old one and kindly given it to me. I have also obtained other officers' clothing from a friend of an officer I drive who has just died of wounds. As I drove this officer direct from the tk>%tlefield to the base hospital I heard Sb* full account of how he was wounded, and this, coupled with the report recommending him for tho V.C, provides an incident which will never be surpassed in the whole of history, and I cannot help a lump coming to my throat as I think that this hero is now beneath the ground. I entitle my story " The Three- Crosses." You will read whv. It seems wonderful that the very man who in civil life, at the slightest skid, or accident to a car, seems on the verge of fainting, should out hero prove to oe the bravest of the brave. The officer I am writing of is such a person, and frequently when driving him at home I have smiled at his nervousness, and thought: "If that's how you act here, how would you behave under j fire? Now that question is answered. He was in charge of a half-company of the before Ypres, and, what with
tho continuous Tain and remaining in wet clothing day after day, it's a marvel that the men were alive at all. The enemy had several violent attacks during the early morning, but, as '• usual, unsuccessful. Night approached, and the grim ceremony of burying the dead and removing the wounded was carried out under heavy fire; not a man dare oven light a match for his cigarette but it brought a hail of bullets, and this was soon stopped. —Th© Bravest of the Brave.— Wc were astounded at daybreak to see they had even returned and collected their wounded, with the exception of ono man, who lay groaning in agony. He was just halfway between the trenches, and although firing still continued I'm glad to say no one attempted to hit him. Then a flying figure appeared from the opposite trenches with the intention of saving the poor chap I referred to, but scarcely a dozen paces had he gone before a volley laid him low. Then the order "Cease fire!" came from the officer whom I had personally earmarked "Nervy." He jumped forward from the trench, and no doubt with the intention of taking revenge for their dead comrado the Germans fired. He was hit badly, too, for ho staggered, but with a magnificent effort kept his feet and rushed, on. "He's gone mad," a voice near me exclaimed; but ho regretted it an instant later, for the sight witnessed from both trenches was greeted with a roar of cheers, and not another single shot was fired for nearly
an hour. Arriving at the wounded German, although badly wounded himself, our horo picked him up and, twj the -f —Amazement of All, — J carried him direct to the Germaif trench. We heard the distant roar of cheers as he arrived and gently laid the l body before an officer and, saluting, turned on his heel to return to us, for he was as safe during those few moments as he would have been at homo; but ho was not to return unrewarded, and the Gorman officer climbed up from the trench and, removing his own Iron Cross, pinned it on our hero. Have you ever heard "Goal!" from the croud at the Palace on Cup-final day? The cheer from both sides was similar, and I'm certain had a German soldier fired at him as he came back to us he would have been killed by his own men. They gave us time to shower our praise upon him, before attacking again, and that evening I had the honor of taking him back to tho hospital. Before leaving the General informed him that he would be recommended for the V.C. the verv next day; but I. am broken-hearted to say that his cross is a- wooden onrt among more of the heroes who have made England what she is.
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BRITISH OFFICER GAINS. THE IRON CROSS, Evening Star, Issue 15691, 4 January 1915