World War One Photo: Noyon

I almost lost the trail on this photo. The name is written so badly on the back (sorry great-granddad) that I almost gave up.  I originally thought it said ‘Lyon,’ and then ‘Nayon’.

Now that I have found the accurate name, I have found a myriad of resources that I would love to research.  There are quite a few of you that look here for new resources, and I don’t want to delay in sharing something to whet your appetite.

Noyon was captured by the Germans in 1914, and held until 1918, when the Allies recaptured it. Most of the sources I have found are primary resources: diaries and letters-  they are amazing in their own detail.  I could spend weeks just researching them to get a better feel of the location and the people that lived- and died there.

There is one, and possibly two resources I would love to share: one is an account from 1918, written by Dr. F. O. Taylor  of the RAF, who claims that having survived through the extent of the war, the time spent in this location was the worst experience.  He writes in 1918:

I stopped about 50 yards from the gate to talk to a group of our men, noticed the colonel talking to two or three other officers in the centre of the macadamised space, and was admiring the pretty aeroplane – the first British ‘plane we had seen for days – glittering in the sun, the red-white-and-blue rings clearly visible, when there came an indescribable explosion.

It was the most terrific, though not the loudest, perhaps, that I have ever heard, followed immediately by dull thuds and the sickening sight of men falling, groaning, spouting blood – whole limbs severed, horses frantically breaking loose.

But in the moment of frightful surprise I could only grasp the fact that two more explosions followed, luckily outside the gate, and believing that a Boche long-range gun had found us, I waited a few seconds flat on the ground for more – but no more came.

Beside me was one of the youngest men in the ambulances; the calf of one of his legs was torn right out, and the wound was spouting blood.  I dragged him into the nearest hut and compressed his femoral artery, managing to stop the bleeding.

The hut seemed full of frightfully wounded men; I could do nothing but hang on to my poor little private’s artery.  What terrible faces they all had, pale as ashes!  “Water,” they groaned.  “Oh, sir, can you do nothing for me?”  It was frightful.

Source: http://www.firstworldwar.com/diaries/noyon.htm

This entry was posted in historical, primary resource, World War One and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to World War One Photo: Noyon

  1. Reblogged this on ww1ha and commented:
    From the little town of Noyon.

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