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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Letter Home - 19th June, 1916

Dear Mother
I got two nice long mails from you all this week, with lots of news. Thank Estelle for the scarf and letter she sent about the boat race. It was jolly hard lines being beaten, but I am glad MGS won and not Wesley. Beyond work going on at our position, there has been little or nothing doing in the way of shells lately. As Mess secretary, I am very interested in a new steel cupola Mess we are building but it is taking ages to put up as there was such an amount of earth to move out of the side of the hill. If one could only use a camera out here, I would be able to show you photographs of the position at different periods, showing you how different it looks from when we first took it over. I was at the OP yesterday and Bee relieved me. We take it turn about with the 15th, as our fronts are next to each othere and there is so little to be seen that there is only one man needed. Bee showed me those cuttings. Mr Allan Currie's was rather far fetched, I thought. Machine gun positions are what we are often called on to knock out by infantry and, although we fire on them and please the infantry, we never claim to knock them out.

Mr Currie may have struck one in construction, but any we have tackled you could fire on all day and would have no effect. It takes a 6-inch or  9.2 howitzer to silence them properly. I don't want to crab his letter but he seemed to make out a gunner leads a dog's life but can assure you that though we get a doing now and again we have a comfortable time compared with the poor infanteers who are bombed, mortared, rifle-grenaded and shelled throughout nearly ever day and night of their lives. Of course, we will have our share when we get on the move. No mum, we are nowhere near Verdun - a long way north - but we originally took over from the French to let them go down and assist their comrades to hold the line.

The Russians are doing good work, but I believe their real offensive only begins today against the Germans and that their other attack was just what they call a holiday attack.

No more now.

Your loving son


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