Captain Rose War Diary Postscript

As a result of viewing the Captain Rose War Diary on the Historylinks website ( on 7 February 2011 Mrs Stella Barber (nee Honeyball) contacted the museum seeking contact with the descendants of Captain Rose, who was from Ospisdale. She said that her father, who served in the Cameronians during WW1, was actually holding Captain Rose, trying to move him to safety after he was first injured, when the Captain got the second shot that killed him. Her father was then shot and injured and whilst convalescing in Scotland he was able to write an account of what happened on Oct 22 1914 from his diary.

Mrs Barber was linked with Mrs Carol Haq, grand-daughter of Capt Rose,and she later provided Historylinks with a copy of ‘My Life & Experience in the Army 1906 ….1918’ by her father Arthur Charles Honeyball. With her permission an extract from her father’s account can now be added as a postscript to the War Diary of Captain Rose.

“In the division we were in was the Argyle and Sutherland Hrs. the Middlesex Rgt. and Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and every day each regiment takes it in turns of leading the column. It was 21st October, and the A.+ S.H. were in front, and we were second. That night the Argyles got shelled, they had a few killed and wounded, as also did my regiment. We went into a field and built head cover in case of attack, but the enemy drew off. Early next morning my company was sent out as a covering party, so the company in rear could dig trenches. We went to the front for about 800 yards, and we got to some wire fencing, the enemy opened fire on us, my platoon was on the left of the road, and we got it thick, I shall draw, or rather make a small sketch of our position we went into. We had a good many killed and wounded and the enemy was too strong for us to check their advance, so we had to retire.

“So my platoon retired to a barn about 100 yds away and we placed the wounded behind a hay-stack. Captain Rose told me to stay with the chaps that were wounded and he retired with the company another 100yds further back into a ditch. I bandaged a couple of chaps up that had got shot in the leg, and a chum of mine Sgt Sadler was shot in the abdomen. I done what I could for him, but he succumbed to his wound. I tried to get a message from him but he could not speak. Soon after that, a man named Potter came back and he said that he was sent to look after the wounded, so I went back to where Captain Rose was. We then retired from the ditch for about 50 yds. because the Germans were advancing again and we were not strong enough to hold them, Captain Rose said that he would see where we could retire to next time, and as he looked round he was shot in the back. I, and another young chap that was near, went over to Captain Rose and as I got up my rifle was hit, the stinging sensation made me drop it quick. I thought I was shot in the arm at first, when we got to Captain Rose I asked him where he had got it , he said in the back, as soon as he said that, he got another that killed him. I had got hold of him by the feet, and the other chap had got hold of his shoulders, by the time he got the second shot. And then I got mine through the thigh. I must have fainted after that, because when I came to my senses I was in a ditch and no one seemed near me, and I did not know which way to go. The shots were whizzing overhead, and then there was a lull in the firing, so I thought I would look and see if I recognized anything. I then knew which way to go.

“I was dragging myself along, when I caught sight of a house, so I thought if I could manage to get there I might be alright. So I kept on and it seemed like hours, although the distance was not more than 500 yards from where I was wounded. I got to within 50 yards of the house when I caught sight of some of my regiment in the trenches they had made. When I saw them I said “Thank God” Mr Rooke a young Lieutenant came and helped me up to the house that I was trying to get to, then he called the stretcher bearers and they carried me back to where the doctor was, and even then we were not out of danger, a “Jack Johnson” came over and killed 2 ammunition ponies, also the doctors horse.

“I was wounded at 10am. 22 October, and I left the place where the doctor was about 6pm. I was taken to the Field Hospital for an injection to prevent blood poisoning, from there I was taken to the train at Ballral Station, from there I went to Bologne, from there I crossed to Southampton on the Yacht ‘Albion’ a very nice yacht lent to the government by a Mr Loufler of London. I was taken to Cambridge Hospital Aldershot.

“When I was well enough to be moved I was sent to Thorncombe Military Hospital Bramley Surrey.

“This place is a private house belonging to Colonel Fisher Rowe of the Grenadier Guards, I soon got better and I received 14 days sick furlough.

“I rejoined at the Depot Hamilton on 16th December 1914, and I got light duty for 3 weeks and then sent to this place Nigg,

I think this is all I have to tell you, I hope it will interest one and all, please excuse the mistakes I have made because I am not very good at writing. You will find the sketch on the next page
from yours truly,
Cpl. Arthur Charles Honeyball
3rd Scottish Rifles
Nigg Camp

a) Wood where enemy were
b) Wire fence where my platoon was,, X… I had my section this side
c) The other three sections of my platoon
d) Road
e) Barn, where my company retired to
f) Haystack where the wounded were carried to
g) Ditch
h) Ditch along side of the road (to the house I was making for after I was wounded)
i) The house I was making for
j) The trench where I saw some of my regiment were
k) The haystack to which I was carried, and some of my regiment were
l) The house behind which the two ponies and the doctors horse was killed

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