School History

Christmas 1918

Volume XI Christmas 1918 No. 66


War Notes

R.L, Lawson (Kiddy) writes: "Just now I am feeling rather 'bucked' with myself.  At shooting to-night I scored four bulls out of a possible five.  To-day we practised going over the top; it was quite jolly.  I have taken to sports now, running, long and high jump.  I regret I neglected this part of the curriculum when I was at school.  I have bucked up now and have been selected to represent my platoon at the Sports".

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C.O. Hooper writes: "We know things are going well, out here (France) because we see things - prisoners, big guns, and it is such a long way for rations to come up.  He can't half get a move on, old Jerry, once he starts.  We have had some excitement lately, having accomplished real cavalry manoeuvres.  The high growing corn certainly made it more difficult for our machine guns at times, and Jerry had wire in front of his guns in the corn.  Once we charged right up to the wire before discovering it and, of course, had to wheel right and left but fortunately, a 'whippet wiper-up' was near us and he simply walked over wire and guns and left it clear for us to get ours in action.  What tremendous faith the people here have in Foch!  The civies are all getting back in to Amiens and the villages around.  What a mercy that gorgeous cathedral was saved!  Standing inside, the war seems millions of miles away.  How soon a big city can look deserted, and the last time I saw it it was as full of life as London.  Paris safe, Amiens safe!  Lets hope they will soon have Belgium safe".

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W.E.A. Masters writes: "My job was an 80-foot pontoon bridge across a certain canal and we got it through in three hours.  You can read in the Times what the 11th Division did, and they have gone ahead still further since then. 

I have spent a very interesting morning ostensibly on reconnaissance, but really looking for souvenirs.  The particular village I was in was taken yesterday.  It is in quite a good condition and until very recently has been occupied by French civilians whom the Bosche has taken back with him.  In one of the houses was a lovely grand piano, quite intact, and my runner, who is musical, entertained me for half an hour.  The day's bag of souvenirs included a pair of field glasses, one automatic revolver, one picklehauber, one cruet and two egg cups (for the mess), two fifty mark notes and three French bowler hats, which my runner is now wearing in camp here.  The Boshes have gone back very quickly here, and all the prisoners are very poor, but seem perfectly delighted at being over on the winning side.  Altogether, I think things are particularly rosy just now (September 29th) and I seen no reason why Cambrai should not be ours this month, also St.Quentin, and (who knows) Metz".

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A.J. Frampton on the day before the Armistice was declared says: "We are at present in what is really the front line, but Fritz disappeared yesterday morning so we are doing peace-time out-posts while the cavalry and cyclists go and find Fritz.  It was a lucky thing for us that Fritz did clear.  On the 4th we attacked a big forest, got it all right, but lost heavily; only two officers of our 15 coming through.  I was one of the two, with my usual luck.  One of the sergeants won a bet on that.  After that I was alone with my company with a lance-corporal as sergeant-major, and on the 9th we were to do another show, one officer per company and the company at half strength and worn out.  The ground we were to attack is the key position to the fortress M (Mons?).  Luckily for us, a few hours before we were to go over, Fritz got the wind up and bolted, and they haven't found him yet.  There are strong rumours of an armistice at 11am to-morrow.  I can't believe it!".

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We greatly regret, but are proud to announce that the following have given their lives for their country.  H.H. Ebborn, Cecil Early, Ronald Weston, Joseph Baird, Dr. Cherrett, Cryil Vaughan and A. James, of whom the last went down on the 'Justitia'.