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This account of the Spring Offensive, 1918, is the most arresting and visually compelling of any. William won the DSO for his courage.
This account of the Spring Offensive, 1918, is the most arresting and visually compelling of any. William won the DSO for his courage.
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21st March 1918, Spring Offensive begins

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'Very early in the morning a heavy bombardment began which grew in intensity - it was as if all Hell had been let loose and I can only describe it as being like hundreds of glasshouses crashing all around us. The extraordinary thing was I did not experience fear, only a kind of strange elation.

Once during the bombardment I had to answer the call of nature and as i could not go out amongst the shells I had to do the best I could on the platform between the day and night dugouts taking a spade with me! I remember thinking how undignified it would be to be caught with my trousers down!

All the time I kept going up into the lookout to see what was happening and to report back. 

William Crowder (Adam Fox)
William Crowder (Adam Fox)

When it became light I noticed a thick fog and detected the addition of gas. So I had the added disadvantage of having to wear my gas mask. This state of affairs went on until I suppose about 9 o'clock in the morning...

John Males likes this update.

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