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A day in the life

First World War Audio Archive

The Battle of Amiens was our first big do after Vimy Ridge.

Hill 62 Memorial Belgium.

Just before the barrage was to open, I turned and looked backwards. It was some sight to see, it was still dark. The guns

Courtrai Memorial Belgium.

all opened at once for a long stretch and we heard the shells whizzing overhead. I had other business to do then. So there was

Le Quesnel Memorial Belgium.

about 30 Frenchmen all crouched down. They were on the right side

Gueudecourt Memorial France.

of the road and we were on the left. But there was a swamp and the bridge was blown out, and our battalion went over on the

Dury Memorial France.

French side. The engineers laid a crossway of faggots in the stream for us to walk on. I wondered why these Frenchmen were

Monchy Memorial France.

there but I realized the machine gun had caught them when the barrage opened and they were all dead in a row. They’d been crouched there till just you thought they were still alive.

Passchendaele Memorial Belgium.

There was not a great deal of opposition for quite a ways that

Masnières memorial France.

morning. Eventually we come to a big German gun and they threw their hands up as soon as we appeared. We had a fellow called Dooly from Nova Scotia who was, had a temper and was as

Bourion Wood Memorial France.

unpredictable as the weather in March. He took after one of these fellows, he was going to stick him with a bayonet. Well the

Courcelette Memorial France.

German, he took off galloping. Dooly and him went tearing downhill. Dooly finally stuck the gun out and picked him in the

Beaumont-Hamel Memorial France.

bum and just like a car changing gears he changed in another gear that German, and that was the end of that race. Dooly come back,

St. Julien Memorial Belgium.

the officer give him a chewing out but he might as well have saved his wind as far as Dooly was concerned. That was a real

Canadian National Vimy Memorial France.

successful do, the Battle of Amiens, as far as we were concerned.

Mr. Close describes events at Amiens; seeing dead French soldiers, capturing a German artillery piece, and what he feels was a successful action.

John Hamilton Close

John Hamilton Close was born in Mitchell, Ontario on July 4, 1896. After the death of both his parents, he went to work on his uncle’s farm in Garrett, Ontario. On March 15, 1916, Mr. Close enlisted with the 114th Battalion in Hagersville, Ontario. He started training immediately and was sent to Camp Borden. After going overseas to England he was quickly deployed to Le Havre. He was wounded at Vimy Ridge, rehabilitated in England, and returned to France to fight at Amiens and Arras where he won a Military Medal for bravery. Mr. Close ended his service with the rank of Corporal. He died in Hagersville, Ontario in February, 1993.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Hamilton Close
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
114th Battalion
2-stripe Corporal
Section Leader

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce


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