Thursday, October 8, 2015

Prince of Wales shot in arm

October 8, 1915

The Prince of Wales, "while taking tea at in inn at a British outpost near Ypres," was shot in the arm by a French corporal, according to the Los Angeles Times.  The shooting took place last week.  The attendant at the inn is said to be an "attractive young woman," who claimed to be unmarried, but it fact is the wife of a French Hussar Corporal named Huguet.

The young waitress, who used the surname Barthou, had "many admirers among the British staff officers," as the inn has become a popular stop for "tea or other refreshments."

Miss Barthou's husband was said to be "furiously jealous" of the attention she receiving.  He wrote to his wife to ask her about the reports of her "flirtation with British officers," saying that if she had been unfaithful to him, he would "shoot her and then shoot himself."

The stories however, were greatly exaggerated.  There was no "undo familiarity" between any of the British officers and the pretty young Bretonne.    One young man had fallen in love with her, proposed, but when she declined, he did not return to the inn.

Last week, her husband received a 24-hour lave from the trenches and turned up unexpectedly at the inn.  It was about 5 p.m..  The Prince of Wales and other staff officers were having tea at the inn.  Huguet watched as his wife talked with the Prince and his companions for several minutes before he was "seized with a blind rage."   He rushed into the room, and "without a word of warning fired two shots in rapid succession, one at his wife and another at the two staff officers."   He then turned the gun on himself.

The Prince of Wales and his companion "sprang on him," but the corporal fired his gun before he could be seized and "wounded himself in the neck."   The Prince was shot in his arm just above the wrist.

The corporal was taken for treatment at a field hospital by the Prince of Wales in his motor car.  The prince's wound was also treated.

The Prince of Wales "proceeded to headquarters" where he reported the incident to the commander in chief.   The corporal's wife also went to the hospital, where she is now looking after him.  

The young French corporal is "liable to shot" for his actions, but it is expected that no "official notice" will be made of the incident.

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