19th Sep 1914, New Bilton Guardsman’s Experiences.

Corporal Collins, of the Coldstream Guards, son of Mr H Collins, of New Street, New Bilton, who has recently, in company with fifty other soldiers, brought a party of 350 German prisoners to England, has written home, and in the course of his letter says : ” We have had a rough voyage coming over, but not so rough as at the front ; it is ” a regular devil ” there, but I would like to go back again. I left the Battalion last Tuesday. We were close on the Germans then, in fact we had been fighting on the Monday. I had to leave to the Battalion to go to the Hospital, as I had a had a festered foot, and I had to travel 300 miles by train to a place called St Nazare, on the French coast to get to the Hospital. I was three days going and the train was half-a-mile long, with sick and wounded. When I got there on Thursday night I went to the Hospital, and asked to come out the next morning to go to the Front, but I got put on this job. There is one thing, I am safe now, but I would SOONER BE WITH THE BOYS again at the Front, although I don’t like the shells flying around. I was at the Battle of Mons, and I can tell you it has been “ a devil ” in France ; homes are desolate, and the roadside and fields are littered with dead Germans horses and the graves where our chaps are buried. There has been fighting every day since the Battle of Mons. I have seen sights which turn anyone. I have had some narrow escapes with my Company. These German prisoners are as happy as can be, and say they are better off now with the British,”

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