My captain was shot

TCD MS 3414 folio 21 recto

TCD MS 3414 folio 21 recto

[May-June 1915]

objectionable. We eventually reached a point some 400 yds from their trenches & the 2nd line of the 43rd was ordered to go through the first line of shielded canoes, ours being unarmoured, & take the trenches. When about 300 yds from them we all got out & charged as fast as we could through the mud with fixed bayonets. At this point Capt R.R.M. Brooke my captain was shot as he was giving the order to charge, poor fellow was standing up in his boat & was no doubt spotted as an officer. Our guns especially, the Hants Howitzers, had been concentrating their fire on to this small hill which was one seathing mass of flying dust & mud, their last shell burst on the trenches as we charged, a most perfect example of what artillery support to infantry should be. It was difficult to believe that anybody could have lived in such an inferno of explosive: few did, however, for on our taking the trenches after a brisk bayonet fight we found the trenches blown to pieces and filled with dead & dying. The enemy had found it impossible to expose themselves to fire & thanks to the gunners we lost only 1 officer killed & 12 rank & file slightly wounded. <The Yeomen of Hampshire proved to us all that they had brought their gunnery to a fine art, they were in fact – incomparable>.The charge was led by Major Hyde, 2nd in command, who with a start of some 50 yards