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6 corrections, most recently by Nemesis1000 - Show corrections



The following extracts from a letter written by Sergeant Robert Gamble, M.M. Headquarters' Signallers, A.I.F., dated 7th October, received by Mr. W.  

Mills, Trafalgar, supply gruesome de-

tails of Hunnish callousness:-

"I have only returned half an hour from witnessing something which I would never have believed without ac- tually seeing it with my own eyes. You will probably remember having read in the papers some twelve months ago that the Germans were boiling down the bodies of their dead to obtain fat, from which they extracted glycerine for use in the manufacture of muni- tions. I did not place any belief in this ghastly suggestion, as I could not imagine human beings capable of such a frightful practice. However, I have now seen it for myself, and will briefly describe my visit to their 'corpse fac- tory.' We came here two days ago, and it was rumored that such a concern  

was in the vicinity, but I placed no reliance on these rumors, as we hear so many incorrect statements whilst on active service. The rumors spread, and now nearly every man in the bat- talion has visited the place. This   morning a party of us set out. First, we entered a passage leading under-   ground, similar to the entrance of a dugout. This passage led to an under- ground canal, which was built in Napo- leon's time. We travelled about 1500 yards along the canal, and finally   passed through a small door in the wall. Two flights of stairs brought us to a room 40ft. long by 15 feet broad. In the centre of the room were ten rows of stretchers raised 3 feet 6 inches from the floor. There   were no bodies in them, but there was evidence that they had recently con- tained human remains. This was shown by patches of clotted blood, and   the same was all over the floor. In one corner of the room there were ten   or twelve dead Huns, some of whom had only been dead three or four days,   but others had been there much long- er. The head had been removed from one body. In the corresponding cor- ner two coppers had been placed side   by side. That on the right hand con- tained the body of a German, the work of rendering the remains being stop- ped by our advance. The other copper was full of a brownish liquid, which I consider was blood. On the floor was   portion of a human leg and other por- tions of bodies. In another room was   a chopper for dissecting bodies, and a net arrangment to strain away the bones etc. I had seen enough to con- vince me beyond doubt that the ene- my actually carried out this terrible  


In a letter from France. dated 10th   October, corporal A. J. Gaph, a sold-   ier attached to thc 31st Battalion   gives Mr J. R. Wotherspoon, of Beaufort an account of his visit to a chamber in an underground canal used by the Germans as a site for a plant for   boiling dead corpses. The writer saw   corpses in various stages of treatment, and also barrels of human fat. "I al- ways put this down as paper talk," he concludes "but am convinced now."