Search This Blog

Friday, 7 September 2012

Diary Entry - 7th September, 1917

Returned early in the morning, having liaised with the Fighting Sherwoods, as they call themselves (really 5th Battery). It was quiet enough on the front but the Hun put some 3,000 gas shell into the back areas around Vermelle. Gnr Gannon of Vosper's section was wounded and gassed and another man who picked up the base of a shell during the day was badly blistered wherever his hand had touched his skin and as he had answered nature's call he got wounded in an awkward place. This was a sample of the new mustard gas so much spoken of. A gas NCO came up and collected - with rubber gloves on - pieces for examination, putting them in a haversack on his back - the chemical ate right through haversack and clothes onto his skin, so there is no doubt it is to be treated with respect


  1. My uncle was gassed in 1917 but I don't know which battlefield. As if there weren't enough misery in the trenches, the horrors of mustard gas must have added to them a hundred-fold.

    Fortunately he survived, though at much reduced lung capacity and lived a reasonably normal life for another forty years.

    1. The thing that intrigues me is the way that so many people could come back after this experience and just resume the flow of their lives as if they'd never been away. Was it a mass act of forgetting or suppression or something?