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From the Notes of the Field Inquiry into the accidental shooting of Sgt R Clemitson - 17 September 1916
3rd Witness - Private W Buston
On the night of 15/16 Sept., I think about 9.30 pm I was out on patrol with Sgt Clemitson, when we came across some telephone wires, which we tracked for about 20 º in northerly direction. Sgt Clemitson cut a piece off when a flare went up, both from ours and the German lines. Fire was opened upon us from D Company lines, in my opinion. We then got back into the ditch and crawled towards our lines. When about 5 yards off the wire, Sgt Clemitson shouted “Hullo Durhams”. We got no answer, we came out of the ditch and crawled as to try to get through the wire, when a shot was fired from our lines. Sgt Clemitson fell and said he was hit. We then helped him up.
Lieutenant J CV Boddy - Officer Commanding D Company
At 9.30 pm a patrol of C Company consisting of Sgt Clemitson & two or three others was fired upon by the night sentry group of D Company by mistake for a party of Germans. Sqt Clemitson was wounded.
The mistake arose through the group not having been warned about this patrol. The attached message was received by them from C Company at about stand-to this evening, and at the same time word was received that the Stokes * guns & Medium Trench Mortars were going to fire at 8.45 pm, which necessitated delay in sending out D Company wiring parties & patrols. I left D Company HQ and made arrangements for D Company parties not to go out until 9.30 pm and the message from C Company in the meantime was not attended to.
* The Stokes trench mortar, developed by Sir Wilfred Scott-Stokes (1860 -1927).