Harrogate Herald - 1st December 1915
Monsieur Joseph Vincent, now a Corporal, of the Belgian
Army, was in Knaresborough Hospital last year some time, and has
many friends there and in Harrogate who will be interested to read
of his success. The extracts have been forwarded to us by Mrs M A
Nuttall, who received the original letter :
Good news this time! I am named in despatches, or as we say in
French, "Porte a l'ordre du jour". This is what the
General said :
"I wish to mention in the despatches from this Division,
Second Lieutenant Deslee (my Lieutenant) and Corporal Vincent,
for the spirit of initiative and decision which they showed during a
reconnaissance in front of the first line of he Division. I
congratulate them warmly on their action, and thank them for the
information they have furnished".
This is how it all, happened :
On the morning of the 22nd of November the fog was very thick,
nearly the same as in London. My Lieutenant, two Sergeants, and
myself went over the top of a first-line trench to collect some war
souvenirs, for, some time ago, very big fights had taken place here,
and many things lie on the ground. On a clear day it would be
impossible to go, but this time there was no danger to fear. I was
there some minutes when I heard, "Vincent!".
"Yes?". "I think it is more interesting on the other
side of the canal". "Yes, Lieutenant". "Shall we
go and see?". "Yew, let us go", and so we went. We
crossed the bridge, and soon we were on the German side, my
Lieutenant with empty hands, and myself with a camp stool. After
fifteen yards we found a German - dead. He had come to throw hand
grenades at our outposts, but was killed before throwing even one.
We went further, and were 200 yards from our line, when the
Lieutenant said, "Vincent, I have seen a German outpost.
We will go and take it!". I did not answer, but looked at his
empty hands and my tool!". "Yes", added he, "we
musty have weapons". So we went back to fetch them, he, his
Browning, and me, my rifle. Arriving near the German post, we jumped
in, but - nobody was there! It was a post for the night only. We
brought back with us many interesting things for the General Staff.
You know the result - my name in despatches.