Home » 1917 » Using a compass in the morass of Passchendale – 1917

Using a compass in the morass of Passchendale – 1917


Second Battle of Passchendale 26th October – 10th October 1917

Before the big push around Houthulst Forest during the Ypres Offensive, the Brigadier gave us a lecture. He told us that one machine gun could hold up an entire brigade.

One night we came out on a compass bearing, otherwise you could walk into Jerry’s line.

Various items weren’t standard issue. I got myself a compass because I didn’t fancy wondering into the Jerry Lines. I had a Liquid Luminous Compass that cost £2 19s 6d. It came from F Davidson, Great Portland Street. I couldn’t help me dodge a bullet, but at least it told me where I was.

We were out into the mud and Jack Walsh was carrying the gun and a leather case with the spare.

We’re hurrying along and Jack shouts.

“I’ve lost the case with the spares in the mud.”

I went back and here he is probing in the mud for the leather case.

“Come on, leave the darn thing.” I said.

Walsh was killed on the 16th November 1917. He was 22.

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