Home | Lineage and Birth | The early years. | Conrad the Mountee. | 23rd of August 1914 | Captivity Espionage and Escapes | Augustabad | Barry Bingham VC | Conrad meets M | Conrad Assistant Military Atache. | The ffrench Connection | The Last Tigerhunt. | The Archaeology of the Reich | From Intrigue and artifice to Art. | The names Ffrench, Conrad Ffrench. | Ian Fleming | The Black Ore of Death | An Evil Medium | Off the Chessboard. | Arbutus Point. | Conrad retires to the field | The Art of Conrad O'Brien-ffrench | The Quotient of Conjecture. | News and Gossip | Bookshop & Bibliography | Mailbag | Related Links | Contact Me

Conrad Fulke O'Brien-ffrench. Artist and Spy.

23rd of August 1914

The Battle of Mons

Morning, the 23rd August 1914. The Royal Irish Regiment moved from its reserve position in a gravel pit and advanced past the Mons Insane Asylum to the Nimy Canal. "The air was heavy with a clinging mist and charged with the concussions of exploding shells." Marching ahead of his platoon in "traditional style", Conrad led his men to almost certain death.

''But what was one to do? The earth on the hillside was being mashed by enemy shells while machine-guns raked the ground we were crossing. Deadly detonations cratered splattering earth in all directions. The noise was deafening. Within a few minutes not a single officer in my Company remained. (DM p. 40)

Conrad himself was severely wounded and was carried to the Asylum where nuns had set up a dressing station. The Germans began shelling the building, and soon terrified inmates ran screaming into the battlefield. The shelling continued and the Asylum caught fire and burnt to the ground. The conquering hoards swept over their defeated foes. Things had not gone well for the British Expeditionary Force that day. Conrad, along with some other wounded, were moved to an inn and then on to a small hospital on the outskirts of Mons. Here Conrad remained whilst his wounds healed. As he got his strength back, his thoughts turned to escape. He had heard that Antwerp was still in Allied hands, and so set his mind to escaping there. He soon learned the first rule of escape: say nothing! He confided in a British doctor, a Major whom the Germans had appointed to check on the welfare of the British wounded. The Major saw the plan as a breach or the Geneva Convention and warned against it. The following day, a troop of German soldiers came for Conrad. He was taken to the station and his stretcher placed in a cattle truck full of British walking wounded. Conrad was bound for Germany.



Supporting Reference

 Copyright. Paul Atkinson 2007. 00brien.com 
              all rights reserved

<meta name="p:domain_verify" content="24e78e98fd1688e8f57d32b1f5e36e79"/>