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November 11, 2005


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Peter Gallagher

A wonderful account of terrible battle, Ben. I can see where you get your writing skills from.

When I was in the Australian mission in Brussels in the early '90s, I used to attend (and once presided at) our annual ANZAC day dawn service at the Butte memorial at Zonnebecke where this battle took place. It was an incongruously beautiful green hill side in the early spring morning with the white headstones tinged pink in the sunrise. Hundreds and hundreds of kids buried there; 19 years old, 20 and 22. Died miserably in the stinking mud in September 1917, ten thousand miles from home, some of them buried where they fell around a German machine-gun position at the top of the hill; now the 'cross of sacrifice'. They were all volunteers. The real tragedy is that it's now almost impossible to identify any benefit or even reason.

David Tufte

Very interesting reading.

My grandfather was allegedly a jerk, so I don't know that much about him.

He had enlisted in 1915, and he got sent to Chihuahua with Pershing.

In France he ended up serving in the Argonne (and perhaps at Belleau Wood).

They were gassed. My grandfather survived, but had some breathing difficulty his whole life. His buddy was not able to get his mask on in time.

Julie Wilson

Thanks for posting this information. My Great-Uncle Lawrence Duxbury was in the 11th battalion KRRC too and died of wounds on 22nd september 1917. I wonder if he was one of those injured in the trench or in battle. It certainly gives a valuable insight into his last hours. Many thanks!

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