Thursday, 12 February 2015

Corporal Setchell Shot in the Head

Corporal A Setchell

Friday 12th February 1915: Corporal A. Setchell, formerly the police constable at Riseley, was present at the Sharnbrook Petty Sessions today where he was congratulated by the Chairman of the Bench on his return home. Corporal Setchell was serving with the Grenadier Guards at Le Bassee when he was wounded in the head. At about 9.30am on the 8th or 9th of January he was out on a sniping expedition, stationed in a small dug-out only about 35 yards from the German trenches with six comrades. He had “bagged” about six or seven Germans when someone spoke to him. He raised his head and a bullet came through the bank and hit him in the right side of his skull, where it embedded itself in the bone. Fortunately the bullet was partly spent by the time it reached him, but he was bowled over and lost consciousness.

As Corporal Setchell put it he “expected to wake up in heaven”, but when he did regain consciousness he found himself on a stretcher being taken to the field hospital. His first request was for a cigarette. Two days later he was removed to the base hospital, where the bullet was removed. From there he was taken to Southampton on the hospital ship Asturias, then to the Northern General Hospital at Leeds where he stayed for around a week before being allowed him. He has brought back with him a German belt as a souvenir. Out of Corporal Setchell’s platoon of 50 to 60 men, only six answered the roll call after the Battle of Ypres.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard 19th and 26th January 1915

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