|Rushden Argus, 22nd January 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins
Six Fighting - A Rushden Family's Splendid Record - Three Wounded
Pte. J. Smith, of Rushden, 1st Beds. Regt., son-in-law of Mr. Brown, High-street South has been wounded, but after spending a week or two at home has returned to his depot this week. Just before he returned he gave the following account of his experiences to our representative:
“Life in the trenches is past description. I was in the battle of the Aisne and the battle at Ypres. We had the order to retreat and we did so. I got in the middle of a ploughed field and I had to dig a hole in the ground with my knife to make a head cover. I lay there for about two hoursa long way from my comrades. I thought my number was up, for the bullets and shells were coming from all directions. Then, they stopped firing, so I crawled from my position and made my way back to my company.
"Just as we were getting ready for a meal, they would shell us and scatter us in all directions. Then we would have to start again. The day I got wounded, the 7th of November, they made six attacks on us, and we had to finish them off with the bayonet, which they didn’t like. The same day I lay in a gap and was popping them off one by one as they passed by when I had the order to double back. I took my rifle and was doing so when a shell came and caught my right hand. It splintered my rifle as well as my hand.
"I did not have a clean shirt on for over three weeks, and my beard was nearly an inch long. The Germans play mouth-organs in trenches, but they like it none the more for being jolly. It is the hottest place I have ever been in. It is awful but you have to put up with all that. I don’t mind so long as my head is left, but life in the trenches is not very pleasant. Six of our family have been to the front. Three of us are wounded, but the other are still doing their bit in the trenches."
Private Smith has lost a finger and his hand has been badly hurt.