Thursday, 11 February 2016

Vicar of Shefford's Son Wounded

Shefford High Street c.1920 [Z1306/101/6/7]

Friday 11th February 1916: The Vicar of Shefford, Revd. Edward Dakin, has received news that his son Lt. Alfred Edward Dakin has been seriously wounded while serving in Mesopotamia. He has received a telegram from the War Office which reads “Viceroy of India reports 8th February, Lieut. A. E. Dakin, Liecester Regiment, suffering from contusion of right thigh and abdomen. Progress satisfactory. Will wire any further news.” This was followed by a letter from his son, writing on 27th January from a hospital ship taking him to the Indian port of Bombay, in which he describes how he was wounded:

“I got knocked over on the 13th. We were advancing, and came under a perfectly fiendish fire from the Turkish trenches. We could not see them, they were so awfully well dug in. We kept going on, and then they opened with their field gunswith shrapnel on us. We were still going ahead, and I was tearing along with my field glasses swinging in front of me, when some shrapnel burst very low, right n front of me and something gave my glasses an awful smack right against my right thigh, and smashed them completely. At the same time something like a forty ton hammer hit me in the pit of the stomach, and the next thing I knew it was three o’clock in the morning, I saw by my wrist watch. I could not move my legs at all, and I felt as if I had no inside left. It was bitter cold and there was still a lot of scattered firing going on. In fact, one Turkish sniper walked over me. However, I got picked up next morning and taken to camp, and next day sent down to Basra. I have had a simply wonderful escape.”

Source: Stondon, Shefford and Stotfold Parish Magazine [P83/30/1]

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