Sunday, February 23, 2014

Flora Sandes: British woman, Serbian soldier

Flora Sandes
On the snowy night of November 15, 1916, a British woman in a Serbian army uniform found a spot on the slope of a steep, mountainous incline where she could sleep for the night. The Serbians were in the process of pushing the Bulgarians back from this corner of Serbia, which the Bulgarians had seized a year before. But the Bulgarians still had control of two strongholds, one of them at the top of this peak. The woman was waiting below with the rest of her regiment, approximately 500 men. It had totaled 2,000 only three months before...

            She and the rest of the regiment were suddenly awakened at dawn by the sound of rifle fire and the very audible voices of Bulgarians shouting “Hourra! Hourra!” A group of them were driving a different regiment of Serbs down the mountain. Flora and the men with her charged up to attack whoever had been left to guard the top.

            Suddenly, out of the mist, Bulgarians appeared directly in front of Flora and the rest of the regiment. The Bulgarians ducked behind some rocks and threw grenades into the midst of the Serbs. Flora suddenly felt as if a house had fallen on her. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t get up. She was conscious that the rest of the regiment was retreating...
Excerpts from "Flora Sandes: 'Remember You're a Soldier' " from Women Heroes of World War I.

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