A Project by St Mary's Cathedral College
This was a diary entry from Francis Armstrong:
A friend of mine, Private A.E Rodda, received a communication from you , asking for particulars of the death of Lieut. B. Mendelsohn of this battalion and as I, perhaps better than anyone else can supply those particulars , I have undertaken to write to you and do so.
Lieut. Mendelsohn was platoon commander of No. 3 Platoon and I was platoon sergeant of No. 4 Platoon. On July 19 th when I reached our trenches with my platoon, Lieut. Mendelsohn,by some chance separated form his own platoon, was near us. He immediately took command of those men near him and blowing his whistle led the way over the parapet towards the German trenches.
When I reached the first German line of trenches I found that Lieut. Mendelsohn was not with us, but on reaching the second German line I found that he was already there. This was about 7pm on July 19. As soon as I reached this position Lieut. Mendelsohn gave the order to move along the trench and we occupied a portion of the trench previously unoccupied.
At about 2am on July 20 th the Germans counter-attacked heavily and we stood to to withstand the attack. Lieut. Mendelsohn in command. At about 2:30am he was shot through the head standing alongside me, whilst urging his men on to greater effort. Death was instantaneous, I was myself wounded shortly after but have ascertained that Lieut. Mendelsohn's body was not removed from the trench and was probably buried by the Germans.