|The Rushden Echo Friday 21 May 1915, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Thrilling Story of the War - Sixteen Hours Near the German Trenches - Terrible Experience
Mrs A Reynolds, of Rushden, has received a letter from her son Pte R Reynolds, of the 1st Northants, who write under date May 12:
"I now write these few lines to you, hoping that you are all well, as I am well myself, but I was crying on May 9th, when we made a charge at the Germans and my officer was killed, and I knelt down and said a prayer. I saw Jim Campion (son of Mrs Campion, Glassbrook-road, Rushden) get his leg shot right off, and Sam Cowley (also of Rushden) got hit, but I cannot say if he was killed. Just break the news to Mrs Robinson (mother of Pte S Robinson, whose death we reported last week, Ed., RE) that her son got killed on May 9th, and that chap at Golding's (Pte F Golding, Ed., RE) down Washbrook, got hit, but I think he was killed as well. We lost about 700 killed and wounded. God only knows how I got through, as I was lying right upon the German trench and I lay there 16¾ hours. I had had nothing for 48 hours, but that was nothing. Some of the boys went up in the air. You cannot realise it out there in England. I got a wound in the arm but it is nothing and I don't care, as it doesn't hurt me. You should have seen the boys get over the trenches, as if it was only a playing field; it was grand. Think of your son lying 16 hours under shell fire. All the tune I was lying under fire I was making fags and smoking. At last I had not got a match and I went and found some on a dead pal, and had my smoke. I had my rifle knocked right out of my hand, but thank God, I soon found another. I had a bullet go right through the photos of sister Lucy, Maggie, Elsie, and Howard. I am sending them so you can put them in the paper."