'Haven't closed my eyes in 48 hours...'

RBKC Local Studies

Letter from Barker to Brougshane. 'Haven't closed my eyes in 48 hours...'
RKBC Local Studies

The offensive, which was to prove disastrous for the 22nd, was the struggle for Oppy Wood in May 1917. This was a dense patch of forest which contained nests of German machine guns and trench mortars. The 22nd Battalion had failed to dislodge the Germans from this strategic position and casualties had been high. And to top it all the Germans had launched gas attacks to finish off any survivors lying out wounded in No Man’s Land. Colonel Barker’s letter to the Mayor of Kensington continues in an unsurprisingly despairing vein, ‘I am very depressed at losing all my gallant friends … Haven’t closed my eyes for 48 hours, so tell any doctor that says it’s an impossibility that he’s a liar’.

This page was added on 09/12/2014.

Comments about this page

  • It is astounding how the soldiers could be this depressed without feeling a sense of honour and then endure this whilst “the Germans… launched gas attacks” behind them. It would be hard to acknowledge that Kensington was involved in a raging war.

    By Enkuule Mergen (01/07/2015)

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