E A Godson

E A Godson

Pratt goes to 11th Inniskillings, Hessey’s old Batt. Thought you’d like Ensor. He’s a splendid fellow. Flies bad here. We had such a good little show last night. Patrol, two officers and 16 men, went out and laid traps for Bosche, which he walked into. Four German prisoners, and three others killed. No casualties on our side. Show thought out and planned and carried out by Godson, a capable youth. We sent a bogus telephone message to front line Coys with idea of Bosche overhearing, which we believe they are able to do, that patrol of four was going out at midnight to a certain place. Actually sent a patrol of 18 some 100 yards further, and at 9:30 p.m. Bosche patrol of seven walked into them. I went up to front line at 11.00 p.m. and took my place on the parapet. At 11.25 p.m. the show began, and very soon back came the patrol with four Germans, one slightly wounded. I came to Battalion H.Q. with them, searched them and found nothing. Said they didn’t understand English, so aloud on the ‘phone I asked B.M. [Brigade Major] if I should shoot them, but not a wince out of them. The B.M. thought I was in earnest and said “For God’s sake don’t”. We then packed them off to Bde H.Q. The Battalion much bucked up over it. The Corps have been harrying to get a prisoner, so Div. delighted. Prussians, fine well set up, in good condition, one obviously pleased, others sullen. You would have smiled to have seen me in a tiny dug-out interrogating them, every word of German I ever know having left me. O.N. [General Nugent] came to see me mid-day, very pleased. Am to go to Div. H.Q. tomorrow for two days’ change. Am sending in Godson’s name for M.C.


Godson was awarded the Military Cross for his conduct during this ambush. He recorded the incident in his journal and his description of the operation was included in Falls’ History of 36th (Ulster) Division. Godson added additional material to that version in his short war memoire: Godson, E A. (No date). The Great War 1914-1918. Incidents, Experiences, Impressions, and Comments of a Junior Officer. Hertford: Self Published.

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