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Williston graphic. (Williston, Williams County, N.D.) 1895-1919, May 16, 1918, Image 10

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88076270/1918-05-16/ed-1/seq-10/

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(Continued from last week)
Another game is "Pontoon," played
with cards it Is the same as our
"Black Jack," or "Twenty-one."
A card game called "Brag" is ilM
popular. Using a casino deck, thq
dealer deals each player three cards.
It is similar to our poker, except for
the fact that you only use three cards
and cannot draw. The ^eck is never
•huffled until a man shows three of a
kind or a "prile" as it is called. The
value of the hands are, high curd, a
pair, a run, a flush or three of a kirn}
or "prile." The limit is generally
penny, so it is hard to win a fortune.
The next in popularity is a card
game called "Nap." It is well named
Every time 1 played it I went to sleep
Whist and solo whist are played bj
the highbrows of the company.
When the gamblers tire of all othei
they try "Banker and Broker/
I spent a week trying to teach some
of the Tommies how to play poker, but
because I won thirty-live francs they
declared that they didn't "fawncy" the
Tommy ploys few card games the
general run never heard of poker, eu
chre, seven up, or pinochle. They havej
a game similar to pinochle called
"Royal Bezique," but few know how to
play it.
Generally there are two decks of
cards in a section, and In a short time
they are so dog-eared and greasy, yon
can hardly tell the ace of spades from
the ace of hearts. The owners of these
decks sometimes condescend to lend
them after much coaxing.
So you see, Mr. Atkins has his fun.
mixed in with his hardships and, con-j
trary to popular belief, the rank and'
tie of the British army in the trenches!
Is one big happy family. Now in Viis
ginia, at school, I was fed on old Mc
Guffy's primary reader, which gave me|
an opinion of an Englishman about
equal to a '76 Minute Man's backed upi
by a Sinn Feiner's. But 1 found Tom«i
my to be the best of mates and a geni
tleman through and through. He neverl
thinks of knocking bis officers. If onej
makes a costly mistake and Tommy!
pays with his blood, there Is no gen
eral condemnation df the. officer. He
Is just pitied. It is exactly the same,
as it was with the Light Brigade at
Balaclava, to say nothing of Gallipoli,
Neuve Chupelle and Loos. Personally
1 remember a little Incident where
twenty of us were sent on a trench
raid, only two of us returning, but I
will tell this story later on.
lARTHUfftUY tflPfy
go over the top, but behind the lineal
they very seldom engage in digging!
parties, fatigues, parades or drills.
This work is as necessary as actually!
engaging in an attack, therefore I think!
it would be safe to say that the all-!
round work of the two hundred thou-,
sand is about equal to fifty thousand!
men who are on straight military du
ties. In numerous instances, officers'
servants hold the rank of lance-corpo
rals and they assume the same duties
and authority of a butler, the one
stripe giving him precedence over the
other servants.
There are lots of amusing stories
told of "O. S."
One day one of our majors went into
the servants' billet and commenced
"blinding" at them, saying that his
horse had no straw and that he per
sonally knew that straw had been is
sued for this purpose. He called the,
to account. The cor
poral answered, "Blime me, sir, the
straw was issued, but there wasn't,
enough left over from the servants'1
beds in fact, we had to use some of
the 'ay to 'elp out, sir."
It is needless to say that the serv
ants dispensed with their soft beds
that particular night.
Nevertheless it is not the fault of
the individual officer, it is just the sur
vival of a quaint old English custom^
You know an Englishman cannot be|
changed in a day.
But the average English officer is a
good sport. He will sit on afire step)
and listen respectfully to Private
Jones' theory of the way the war
should be conducted. This war la
gradually crumbling the once insur-|
mountable wall of caste.
You would be convinced of this ilj
you could see King George go among
his men on an inspecting tour undeij
Are, or pause before a Uttle wooden
cross In some shell-tossed held witn
tears in his eyes as he reads the in
scription. And a little later perhaps
bend over a wounded man on a stretch
er, patting him on the head.
More than once in a hospital I have
seen a titled Red Cross nurse fetching
and carrying for a wounded soldier,'
perhaps the one who in civil life de
livered the coal at her back door. To*
day she doos not shrink from lighting
his fag or even washing his grimy
Tommy admires Albert of Belgium be.
cause he is not a pusher of men hq
Meeting a Gas a'nd Infantry Attack.
I said It was a big happy family, and
so It is, but as in all happy families,
there are servants, so in the British
army there are also servants, officers'
servants, or "O. S." as they are termed.
In the American army the common,
name for them is "dog robbers." From
a controversy in the English papers,
Winston Churchill made the states
ment, as far as I can remember, that
the officers' servants in the British
forces totaled nearly two hundred'
thousand. He claimed that this re-,
moved two hundred thousand except
tlonally good and well-trained fighters!
from the actual firing line, claiming
that the officers, when selecting a matt
for servant's duty, generally picked tha
man who had been out the longest and
knew the ropes.
But from my observation I find thatj
a large percentage of the servants dO|
leads them. With him it's not a case
of "take that trench," it is "come on
and we will take It,"
It is amusing to notice the different!
characteristics of the Irish, Scotch am*
English soldiers. The Irish and Scotc!
are very impetuous, especially when 1
comes to bayonet fighting, while th
Englishman, though a trifle slower,
thoroughly does his bit he is more
methodical and has the grip of a bull-j
dog on a captured position. He la
Blower to think that is the reason why
toe never knows when he is licked.
Twenty minutes before going over
the top the English Tommy will sit on
the fire step and thoroughly examine
the mechanism of his rifle to see that it
is In working order and will fire prop
erly. After this examination he is sat
isfied and ready to meet the Bodies.
But the Irishman or Scotchman sits
on the fire step, his rifle with bayonet
fixed between his knees, the butt of
which perhaps Is sinking Into Ihe mud
—the bolt couldn't be opened with a
team of horses It is so rusty—but h«*
spits on his sleeve and slowly polishes
his bayonet when this Is done he also
is ready to urgue with Fritz.
It is not necessary to mention the
colonials (the Canadians, Australians'
and New Zealan^ers), the whole world
knows what they have done for Eng
The Australian and New Zeu lander
is termed the "Anzac," taking the
name from the first letters of their of
ficial designation, Australian and New
Zealand army corps.
Tommy divides the German army
into three classes according to their
fighting abilities. They rank as fol
lows: Prussians, Buvarians and Sax
When up against a Prussian regi
ment it is case of keep your napper
below the paifepet and duck. A bang
bang all the time and a war is on. The
Bavarians are little better, but the
Saxons are fairly good sports and are
willing occasionally to behave as gen
tlcinen and take it easy, but you can
not trust any of them overlong.
At one point of the line the trenches
were about thirty-two yards apart.
This sounds horrible, but in fact it was
easy, because neither side could shell
the enemy's front-line trench for fear
shells would drop into their own. This
eliminated urtillery fire.
In these trenches when up against
the Prussians and Bavarians, Tommy
had a hot time of it, but when the Sax
ons "took over" it was a picnic they
would yell across that they were Sax
ons and would not fire. Both sides
would sit on the parapet and carry on
a conversation. This generally consist
ed of Tommy telling them how much
he loved the kaiser, while the Saxons
informed Tommy that King George
was a particular friend of theirs and
hoped that he was doing nicely.
When the Saxons were to be relieved
by Prussians or Bavarians, they would
yell this information across No Mau's
Land and Tommy would immediately
tumble into his trench and keep his
head down.
If an English regiment was to be re
lieved by the wild Irish, Tommy would
tell the Saxons, and immediately a vol
ley of "Donner und Blitssens" could
he heard and it was Fritz's turn to get
a crick in his back from stooping, and
the people in Berlin would close their
Usually when an Irishman takes over
a trench, just before "stand down" in
the morning, he sticks his rifle over
the top. aimed in the direction of Ber
lin, and engages in what is known as
the "mad minute." This consists of
firing fifteen shots in a minute. He
is not aiming at anything in particular
—just sends, over each shot with a
prayer, hoping that one of his strays
will get some poor unsuspecting Frit a
in the napper hundreds of yard!* be
hind the lines. It generally does that'q
the reason the Boches hate the man
from Erin's isle.
The Saxons, though 'better than the
Prussians and Bavarians, have a nasty
trait of treachery in their makeup.
At one point o£ the line wlieie the
tranches yere very close, a stake was
driven into the ground midway be
tween the hostile lines. At night when
it was his turn, Tommy would crawl
to this itake and attach some London
papers to it, while at the foot he would
place tins of bully beet, fags, sweets,
and other delicacies that he had re
ceived from Blighty in the ever looked
for parcel. Later on Fritz would come
o',f and get these luxuries.
The »3ct ntgli^^niniy ^ould go out
to see what Fritz put into his stocking.
The donntlon generally consisted of a
paper from Berlin, telling who was
winning the war, some tinned sausages,
cigars, and occasionally a little beer,
but a funny thing, Tommy never re
turned with the beer unless it was in
side of him. His platoon got a whiff of
his breath one night and the offending.
Tommy lost his job.
One night a young English sergeant,
crawled to the stake and as he tried toj
detach the German paper a bomb ex
ploded and mangled him horribly. Fritz,
had set a trap and gained another vlcj
tlm which was only one more blackj
'mark against him ifa the book of .thisj
war. From that time on diplomatic re
latlons were severed.
Returning to Tommy, I think his
spirit is best shown in the questions he
flair«, it is never "who is going to win
but always "how long will it take?"
"Chats With Frit*."
We were swimming In money, fro®,
the receipts of our theatrical venture,
and had forgotten all about the war,
when an order came through that our
brigade would. again take over their
sector of the line.
The day that these orders were is
sued, our captain assembled the com
pany and asked for volunteers to go to
the Machine Gun school at St. Omar.
I volunteered and was accepted.
Sixteen men from our brigade left
for the course In machine gunnery.
This qpurse lasted two weeks and we
rejoined our unit and were assigned to
the brigade machine gun company. It
almost broke my heart to leave my
company mates.
The gun'we'used was the Vlckers,
Light .303, water cooled.
I was still a member of the Suicide
club, having Jumped from the frying
pan Into the lire. I was assigned to
section 1, gun No. 2, and the first time
I "in" took position in the front-line
I trench.
I During the day our gun would be
I dismounted on the fire st^ ready for
instant use. We shared a dugout with
I the Lewis gunners. At "stand to" we
Would mount our gun on the parapet
and go on watch beside It until "stand
down" in the morning. Then the gun
would be dismounted and again placed
In readiness on the Are step.
We did eight days In the front-line
trench without anything unusual hap
pening outside of the ordinary trench
routine. On the night that we were to
"carry out," a bombing raid ngnlnst the
German lines was pulled off. This raid
ing party consisted of sixty company
men, sixteen bombers, and four Lewis
machine guns with their crews.
The raid took the Boches by surprise
•nd was a complete success, the purty
bringing back twefity-one prisoners.
The Germans must have been awful
ly sore, because they turned loose a
barrage of shrapnel, with a few "Min
nies" and "whizz bangs" intermixed.
The shells were dropping into our front
line like hailstones.
To get even, we could have left the
prisoners in the fire trench, in charge
of the men on guard and let them click
Fritz's strafeing but Tommy doeS not
treat prisoners that way.
Five of them were brought into my
dugout and turned over to me so that
they would be safe from the German
In the candlelight, they looked very
much shaken, nerves gone and chalky
faces, with the exception of one, a
great big fellow. He looked very muchj
at ease. I liked him from the start.
I got out the rum jar and gave each!
a nip and passed around some fags,
the old reliuble Woodbines. The other'
prisoners looked their gratitude, but
the big fellow said in English, "Thank!
you, sir, the rum is excellent and I ap-j
preciate it, also your kindness."
He told me his name was Carl
Schmidt, of the Sixty-sixth Bavarian
Light infantry that he hud lived six
years in New York (knew the city bet
ter than I did), had been to Coney!
island and many of our ball games. He!
was a regular fan. I couldn't make him
believe that Hans Wagner wasn't the
best ball player In the world.
From New York he had gone to Lon4
don, where he worked as a waiter inj
the Hotel Russell. Just before the war
he went home to Germany to see hisj
parents, the war came and he was con-j
He told me he was very sorry to
hear that London was in ruins from
the Zeppelin raids. I could not con
vince him otherwise, for hadn't he seen
moving pictures in one of the German
cities of St. Paul's cathedral In ruins.
I changed the subject because he
was so stubborn in his belief. It wa^
my intention to try and pump him for
information as to the methods of the
German snipers, who had been caus
ing us trouble in the last few days.
I broached the subject and he shut
up like a clam. After a few minute!
fel very innocently saldt
(Continued next week)
More flax is needed. The home
crop needs to be increased. Ships can
not be spared for importing flax. Lin
seed oil is needed for preserving wood
and steel, for water proofing tents and
slickers, for camouflaging batteries
and equipment at the front. The
Army, Navy and Industries must have
the linseed-oil which is made from
flax. Flax is a war necessity.—Ex
tension Div., N. D. Agr. Colege.
Victory in the war depends upon the Use of VICTORY
The Administration asks each and every housewife to
help in this great campaign of thrift. It asks you to use
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR and such percentage of Sub
stitutes as may be prescribed from time to time.
Williston WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR retains all the
muscle-building elements, all the food elements for
strength-maintenance, and it contains those things
which are needed by growing children. Physicians have
long urged the use of more ^hole wheat flour and less
of Patents.
Help the administration by using Whole Wheat Flour,
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