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Lieutenant Newton’s description of the scene as the mines were discharged:
The morning of the last big show was a memorable one. The time for the blowing up of the huge land mines which are the largest on the British was set for early in the morning. The still of the night had not yet been broken by the increasing crack and ping of rifle fire that comes with every dawn. Seemingly not a gun boomed on the whole Western front and the enemy showed no sign of “nerves.” The clock ticked scarcely two seconds short of the set time. A field gun half a mile to the left broke the silence, and as one, each officer and man turned his face towards the German line.
With a roar that shook the country for miles, thousands of tons of earth rose as if forced by some unseen hand and falling showered the place with desolation. The Boche trenches had been blown as timed to one terrific crash, the guns behind our lines put up a barrage absolutely impenetrable by anything human. Then with flashing bayonet and a ringing shout the British “went over.”
Antal, S., & Shackleton, K. (2006). First Efforts: The Battle for the St. Eloi Craters. In Duty nobly done: The official history of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment (1st ed., pp. 191-192). Windsor, ON: Walkerville Pub.