One day of routine manning I left Carlin and another at the tap in with instructions that if the line went we’d mend it at our end as it always got out about 150 yards from the O.P. the Hun strafing that point every day for no reason whatever and doing no damage except to a few telephone lines. Sure enough the Hun had his strafe and the line went. Harper was with me and another man, probably Davis. Of course they wanted to go out and mend it, but as the line was of no great importance at the moment told them to wait till the strafe stopped – we could see and hear shells bursting. Next thing Harper got a buzz on the phone showing it was through and a little later old Carlin’s head appeared at the parade, beaded with sweat and much wind up. I strafed him for coming out when he was told to stay in. His reply was, “I saw the O.P. was getting it and thought someone might be hit.” That did not prevent him stopping to mend the line amongst the S. 9.
I have always said that “Windy Bill Carlin” is the bravest man I have met and one of the windiest. The man who is not windy cannot be brave, but the man who does his job at all times and under all conditions and with the wind up all the time, is the man I admire.
It is one of the few pieces of memorabilia
I have of either of my Grandfathers,
and even though I think the conflict was abhorrent,
I am still proud of their efforts during that time.
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