LOST Between the Lines in WWI

WWI was a horrible waste of life like most wars and the invention of machine guns with their rapid rate of fire meant that more men were killed than ever before in battles. And the use of poisonous gas totally changed the face of war as the men had to protect against that also. 

My grandfather, Fred Kirkpatrick, Sr. was in that war and told of being lost between the lines during his time there. It seems that he and his company were working on roads in the area and in the fog of battle and enemy bombardments, got lost and could not find their way to their own positions. 

He was in an engineering battalion and so often they were sent out ahead of troop movements to secure and fix roads for transport of troops and supplies. This particular day they finally did not know which was their own lines were for sure and not wanting to risk capture or being shot by either side in the confusion had to stay out in the no mans land between the lines. This must have been in an area where there was some distance between the lines as they stayed a number of days out in that area until they ran out of food and became quite hungry. 

They finally decided to sit in a farm yard and wait for help or someone to find out the way back to their own men. He said they were at the point of starvation and weakness had settled in so they could not walk anymore. He sat down and had sharpened his bayonet and stuck in in the ground in frustration. When he pulled it out, it came out with a big fat potato. They had sat down in a garden and it was full of potatoes which the vines had died and were not noticed. 

He told me they sat there and ate potatoes until they about busted and were able then to finally gain enough strength to find their way out of the no mans land. 

Little do we realize that one miracle in one man's life so long ago meant such a difference in our entire families existence. 

Fred Kirkpatrick Sr. in WWI

This section is going to be generated from first hand accounts that my Grandfather Fred Kirkpatrick Sr. told me about his times in Europe during WWI. It will also include excerpts from his diary that he kept, pictures of his gear and maps and other items he kept. 

I hope you enjoy the journey back in time with me as I share his story about the events of that time. 

kevin kirkpatrick