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10 March 1915 – Drake-Brockman – DB and Ted with two men who were killed

10 Mar

Ted was Adjutant to Col Drake-Brockman whose book “With the Royal Garhwal Rifles in the Great War” gives details that Ted was not able to provide because of the censors. Here though is a story about the battle of Neuve Chapelle that Ted didn’t tell because he would not have wanted to alarm his family.

With my adjutant, Captain Berryman, and my orderly, Rifleman Keshar Sing Rana (sic), I was seated with my back against the parados. There was also a man of the 6th Jats who was seated alongside my orderly next to Captain Berryman, so that there were four us of close together in a line. [The row seems to have been Ted, the man from the 6th Jats, Keshar Singh Rana, Drake-Brockman]. Suddenly a shell came over and exploded in the trench just a couple of yards or less from where we were seated, with the result that my orderly and the man of the 6th Jats were killed instantly. Keshar Sing Rana, who had been awarded the Indian Distinguished Service Medal at Festubert in November, 1914, had two pieces of shell blown right into his forehead, killing him instantly. I missed him greatly, poor fellow. The man of the 6th Jats, too, had a big piece of the back of his neck blown out. He was leaning a bit over, and behind Captain Berryman at the time, so it was a lucky escape for us both. The extraordinary thing was that we were all four were seating touching each other, Berryman on one side and I on the other, with the two men in between us, and yet neither Berryman nor myself was touched or hurt beyond a bit of a shaking from the explosion. Such is war! You can never tell when it will be your turn so it is no good worrying about it.

 
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