Les Hall - Trenches and artillery bombardments

Running time
2 min 4 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We were all in underground foxholes, sort of thing, with a structure on the top and plenty of sandbags. The only thing it could withstand, pretty well everything except direct hits. Yes, there was plenty of incoming, in fact, when we first got into the front line it was, I didn't make the mistake, but one of my colleagues did and he said 'This is really the front line is it? Gee it's quiet isn't it?'

And couple of other blokes looked at one other that had been there awhile and they looked at their watches and I thought 'There's something going on here.' Then they got up and moved, so I thought, 'I'm moving with them' and sure enough at half past four in came the mortars and the shells, so they had it down to a fine art once you got there for a while you fell into the normal procedures of what to do and when to do it.

In fact, I always say that I got wounded in that first little episode, but the wound was on my backside and that was because I was horizontal in a dive into the trench. As the shell exploded a little bit of shrapnel just caught me in the backside as I was going over the top of it but I went to the RAP with it and they told me 'No, it wasn't a go homer. Go back to work'.

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