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Raids on German Army

Heroes Remember

Raids on German Army

The raids, well now we made a raid at Méricourt, that's just south of Vimy. I helped them take Vimy and this..., I knew all the land and everything and I knew the towns over there, which I hadn't been in, the Germans were there. The Germans pulled back to them places, it was a long way. We dug, dug a trench, 150 of us volunteered to make these raids. The officer wanted to make the raids. They wanted to get some information. They figured the Germans were going to make a raid on us, you understand, and they wanted to get information, on their way they want to get, get prisoners. So we... back at the line for four or five nights, airplanes took a photograph of the German lines and we taped that, with white tape, you know, way back of the line. And we stayed back there and every night they'd go over that, you see, for weeks, every night, because you just knew exactly where you had to go, you see, exactly the same. So when we got ready to go over, it was five o'clock in the morning. They opened up behind us with the artillery and we got, we got, struck every place that we were supposed to go we hit right. Then we took some prisoners, and what we could kill we done and blow up dugouts. That was my job, to blow up the dug outs, and take some prisoners if we could get them. So you ask the people to go along, and they had those mobile chargers, they were ten, ten, about ten pounds I think they were, and they could carry. They were more than ten pounds, that was heavier than that and you hollered down and asked them to come up and if they didn't you'd throw the thing down and blow up the dugout you see, you'd do that. And we had to do that, and take any prisoners if necessary. And we shot two, an officer and, and another guy. They were waiting for us but we were too quick for them. So that's where I got my DCM. Interviewer: The Distinguished Conduct Medal. Distinguished Conduct Medal, yeah. So, we came back. You only had so long there you see, you had to get back and then get back, it was all daylight then. So you'd be back before the Germans had a chance to, to get at you, you see. Get back because they flew the coop, you see. We took, we got, how many prisoners? I think about thirty some prisoners and they got a lot of information, you see. The Germans were making, they were going to make a run for us, so that's what we want to find out. Interviewer: So this information... That cleared it, that cleared the whole outfit when you, when you, when you done that. You, you broke into what they were going to do. So when we, before they started the game, we started and kept on going till the thing was finished. Interviewer: So this information would have been useful in the taking of Vimy Ridge later? See they were going to go and try to take Vimy Ridge back, you see. They were only about a mile from Vimy Ridge.

Mr. Mason describes the series of raids on the German army in which he took part, and the purpose of these raids to capture prisoners who could supply information on planned German troop movement.

Alfred Mason

Alfred Mason was born in Tangier, Nova Scotia on January 4, 1895. After completing his schooling, he worked in the Tangier gold mines before moving to a job at the car works in Trenton, Nova Scotia when he was 17 years old. He would also spend some time at the steel works there and in the coal mines of northern Nova Scotia before going to Halifax in 1915 to enlist. He joined the 66th Battalion and then transferred to the 40th. He spent some time in Quebec in basic training and was then sent to England and, almost immediately, on to France. He arrived there in the Spring of 1916 as reinforcement for the 3rd Division, 8th Brigade of the 5th Battalion of the Canadian Mounted Rifles.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alfred Mason
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
3rd Division, 8th Brigade of the 5th Battalion of the Canadian Mounted Rifles

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