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25th November 1914.

With his life a young soldier atoned for an error committed whilst he was on sentry duty. The story was told by one of the East Yorkshires, who said:

One of the hardest night attacks we bad to face was made possible by the momentary carelessness of a lad of the Loyal North Lancashires who was on guard, and somehow allowed his thoughts to stray in other directions, so that he did not notice the Germans until they were on top of him. He was disarmed, and became terribly distressed over the prospect of what his carelessness had brought on the Army.

He had one chance of redeeming his fault, and he took it. Just when the Germans were half-way towards the sleeping camp he made a run for it. He didn’t go far, but the shots fired by the Germans warned the camp of what was coming, and the advanced guard held than in check until the main body got under arms.

When we found the lad he was just able to explain what had happened, but he was quite happy when I told him there wasn’t a soldier who wouldn’t think that his heroism had atoned for the original fault. At that he smiled and passed away.

Paul McCormick
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