Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen
April 12th Cornet Malo woke about 5 a.m. by Poobah saying a lot of MG fire on our left. B.M. was then talking to Scott on the phone who said his front was all right. Went out & saw transport coming back along road, saw Northall who said everyone was coming back & he was going up to see what was up. Immediately after our Hd Qrs came under Rifle & MG fire at close range: we all then started to get away on going out of farm. B.M. & Col. Fleming were wounded by a bomb. Others were running back. I had one last look at Farm, collected my bag & waterproof & joined the remainder. Bosche was all round us in waves, the first 2 waves having passed Hd Qrs; attempted to get men round Farm Building & open fire, but seeing it was useless made off again for another cottage – which I entered with Drummond, Cummings & Simpson. On going in rifle bullet grazed me on head & knocked me over. Finally Simpson surrendered & we were captured. Remainder of Bde Hd Qrs were also taken at various places & we commenced to march back. Bosche M.G. & Artillery fire still continuing in vicinity of our farm. On way linked up Fleming & Meakin & B.M.
Boche evidently broke through someway N of us near Merville as I spoke to a Corpl D.C.L.I. (under 153) later on & he said they had come in behind their line. Party captured was practically all Bde Hd Qrs, self. B.M., Drummond, Cummings, Simpson, McLean, Hutchings, Fleming Meakin. The latter riding back, & Poobah servant badly wounded, carried back. Passed through Paradis where we collected a French cart & put wounded in & dragged it along to 1st Dressing Station where wounded were left. Then marched through Fosse to Pont du Hem. Rested & had excellent cup Barley Broth. Stayed 1 hour here then on via La Bassee road, our old front. Corpl Alfhousen, marching ahead, not knowing where he was going. So we with aid of B.M.’s map, guided ourselves across old trenches to Bois-de-Biez & there to Illies & on to Marquillies. (19 miles). Behind B de Biez Alfhouse shopped & we all had drink of Soda Water from a Field Factory. Arrived Marquillies about 7.30 p.m. Spent night in cages. Officer in charge most kind, gave self, Berney-Ficklin & Drummond a shake down in his quarters & food & noisy night, some 700 Portuguese prisoners chattering all night. Bombs dropped throughout night.