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Monday, 13 June 2011

Letter Home - 13th June, 1916

Dear Family,
I am sorry that this letter has missed the mail, but really, beyond letting you know I am still kicking, there will be no news. The weather has been very unseasonable these last seven days or so. It has rained every day - not much, you know, but just enough to keep this clay soil like pea soup.

Since I last wrote it has been extraordinarily quiet on the front and we have barely fired any rounds at all. Our position is beginning to look as if the 2nd Division were here now and we have planted all the top of the gunpits with gooseberry and currant bushes which we got from the remains of a village near by. The pits are all painted white, with different coloured linings and with bells, electrc light and speaking tubes - we might be in a private house. Besides all this, a steel cupola has been put up for the Captain and one is now being erected for the Mess.

We were also hard at work building two pits, for my section is going into another position with a section of the 15th. We have stopped work on them. A wretched howitzer battery 4.5 inch has planted itself just outside our Mess and, as No. 4 pit is barely 10 yards to a flank and to the rear of the Mess, they nearly shake the place down every time they fire. I was in the old town yesterday collecting Mess material and had a long day of it, as it is about a 14-mile ride from here. The wagon line is a beastly long way from here too - six miles - and, as we can't keep our horses up here, it is rather a long way for them to do four trips instead of two. It is time for the Australian mail to come and I hope it arrives today.

Bee has been up with what is called the suicide brigade, but I saw him yesterday. He spends three days in the trenches with the trench mortars and three days out.

The fleet did well. I think the Ruskies are doing better, if they can keep it up, but it was very sad losing Kitchener of Khartoum.

Ever your loving son


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