24 December 1915

Extract from the official war diary of 10th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

PLOEGSTEERT

Took over trenches 124 – 127 from 3/WORCESTERSHIRE REGT. On our R. 1/WILTSHIRE REGT. On our L. the 5th CANADIAN REGT.    Col. F.V. WHITTALL, Commanding the Battalion was sent to hospital with a bad attack of fever. Owing to very heavy rain during the night the trenches were very wet in places, but on the whole improved. Enemy very lively during the night, keeping up continuous rifle and Machine Gun fire. At about 11 p.m. Pte. SCHOLES, “A” Coy. was hit in the mouth while in a Listening Post. Capt. HOWELL with Ptes. AXON, TAYLOR, H., and HAWKINS, “A” Coy stretcher bearers went out to bring him in. A brisk fire from rifles and Machine Guns was being kept up by the enemy at this time. While applying the Field Dressing Pte. AXON was badly hit in the back and head. The firing being largely directed along the trench of the listening post made it necessary to return across the open. This was done at very considerable risk as firing was heavy and a flare could have plainly shown up the party. Finally the wire had to be crossed & the wounded men got over the parapet. This was successfully done. The whole party behaved admirably in every respect. Pte. AXON managed to walk back with assistance though he collapsed soon after. Pte. SCHOLES was carried in a trench stretcher. He died soon after being got into the trench.

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