|Sergeant Noel Matthews
Another thing I can recall, we did a night patrol. We had to go out. We were detailed to go out. At times we used to dig in with the rifle companies with a tank supporting us because there was a gap and all this sort of thing. Yes you might get a bit of a patrol. Germans come up in front of you and open fire. Sending up of our flares and things like that. The other thing we did a patrol now whether the Jerries were in this town or in a certain place. There was the sergeant, myself and the Dutch interpreter, a chap called Nick, never knew what his surname was, and this officer. Now this officer of ours should never have been in the army. He was hopeless. He surrendered to a horse once. He gave out his name and there is this ruddy horse going around the corner. He came with us and it was a perfect moonlight night, you could see for miles and we worked ourselves across this field and we came to a building and there was a lane down to it. In this lane there were all the slip trenches where the Germans laid and if there had been any Germans there, obviously we would not have got so far. The Dutch bloke went up and banged on the shutters and he went inside and he came out and said, yes, there were still Germans in the town but they thought they were withdrawing. Well Freddie and myself are working ourselves up this lane towards this church and suddenly 2 or 3 Germans come out carrying something, loading up a lorry, and we dived into this field through the gateway and they did not see us, nothing happened, when we looked around that was the only way out so we would have been snookered in any case. That was that. The officer was satisfied so we started walking back and I was leading across this field again. I suddenly saw a covering of camouflage sheeting on the ground so I put up my hand to halt and the Dutch sergeant came up because obviously he could speak German and he lifted up and underneath there was a gun, rifle, and he picked up the rifle, whipped back the sheet and there were a couple of Germans in the tent and he dug one of them and you never heard such an unearthly noise in your life. This bloke being poked by his own rifle and he did not know it. They got out of this trench and obviously to my mind, as I thought of afterwards, they were going to give themselves up anyhow. We took them back, searched them, I imagine we had their watches and that was the end of that.