"...The attack on the wood had begun soon after dawn, and it was no more than 8 a.m. when the Corporal was dropped badly wounded in the advance line of the attack where it had penetrated about four hundred yards into the wood. But it was well into afternoon before he sufficiently woke to his surroundings to understand where he was or what had happened, and when he did so he found the realisation sufficiently unpleasant. It was plain from several indications-the direction from which the shells bursting in his vicinity were coming, a glimpse of some wounded Germans retiring, the echoing rattle of rifle fire and crash of bombs behind him-that the battalion had been driven back, as half a dozen other battalions had been driven back in the course of the ebb-and-flow fighting through the wood for a couple of weeks past, that he was lying badly wounded and helpless to defend himself where the Germans could pick him up as a prisoner or finish him off with a saw-backed bayonet as the mood of his discoverers turned. His left leg was broken below the knee, his right shoulder and ribs ached intolerably, a scalp wound six inches long ran across his head from side to side - a wound that, thanks to the steel shrapnel helmet lying dinted in deep across the crown, had not split his head open to the teeth..."
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