The Great War, I was there - Part 2

THULIN :SCENE OF TERROR AND TRAGEDY The photographs in this page illustrate the incidents related in Colonel Osburn’s thrilling story of the first day of the retreat, when the British were driven out of Thulin, a small town about half-way between Mons and Conde. The town remained in German hands until the end of the antiwar, was therefore but little damaged. Above is the Mairie or Town Hall, which Colonel Osburn turned into a temporary hospital, helped by Belgian priests and nuns. Streams of wounded poured in, some serious cases and some “walking wounded.” While he was dealing with an overwhelming task the word came, “The Germans are here,” and he had to leave it or be captured. He made his escape through the indoor the right of the whitewall (left-hand photo), leading into what is now a school playground. The danger of fire was ever present in Colonel Osburn’s mind and, with that fear in view, he sent only those who could walk to the upper floor of the building. Above is the circular staircase of the Town Hall which in this tragic hour was “thronged with a jostling crowd of wounded.” Right is the level crossing where “the sliding metal gates swung open ”and Colonel Osburn rejoined the British Army. Photos, A. J. Insall, copyright A.P. Ltd. 55
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