Living History, — March 8, 2011 9:12 — 0 Comments
11 year old dispatch bearer
I went back to my position on Henry Street. I was first in the firing line from Nelson’s Column, a position which was dangerous also from Amien Street Station and Earl Street.
After a while I was surprised to see, to my right, a young boy standing to attention. I asked his age and he told me he was eleven. He had been carrying dispatches all week.
He had a head of curls and his cap had a large hole in it. God bless him.
I asked him to leave the danger side and come to my left. He replied that he was safe enough but I stepped back and pushed him across for safety. What was my surprise to find that instead of a rifle he carried a large cross – which he found in postal sleeping quarters – at his right-hand side.
Before coming to Moore Lane a young volunteer in uniform was passing me when he shouted, ‘Oh God!’ as he fell over my path. I caught him in my arms. He was shot in the centre of the forehead and died in a few minutes. I laid him down in the path and said a short prayer (RIP).
The enemy who took his young life could have taken mine. Why ?
Seeing him in uniform the enemy probably thought he was an officer and picked him off.
It would have been better and more fair to us all to have waited until it was quite dark and not have this fine young Volunteer, who had probably saved every penny to buy his uniform, picked out as target for the enemy.