SETTLING THE BILL
di William Dugdale (1922-2014)
The Battalion started to tain, harmonising the Middle Eastern approach of the 6th Battalion with the more regimental approach of Colonel Geordie. It was not without friction, and I was glad when I was detailed to go with John Nelson and John Stanley to mentor the 12th Lancers where, at Capracotta and Castel del Giudice, they were having to act as infantrymen up in the mountains. There were about 10 of us in all from the Grenadier and Scots Guards. Capracotta was the highest village in Italy and was above the headwater of the Sangro. The Germans were on the North Bank, but had mostly drawn back to the villages higher up. Each patrol had to walk about seven miles down to the rivers, and then about a further five miles, before there was any hope of encountering the Germans. We could see occasional enemy movement but, by the time a patrol had been despatched, the enemy had already long disappeared. The 12th Lancers were very conscientious and insisted on going all the way on foot until halted by fire or, more likely, by encountering a minefield of schu mines (the wooden non-detectable anti-personnel jumping mines), as a result of which they lost quite a few people.
W. Dugdale, Settling the Bill. The Memoirs of Bill Dugdale, Endeavour, London 2011, p. 117.