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Saturday, 2 July 2011

Letter Home - 2nd July, 1916

2nd July, 1916

Dear Father,

Many thanks for your letters and the paper re the boat race. It must have been a splendid race and it was a pity we could not quite get there. We are still having wretched weather, at least yesterday the sun came out but today it looks as if it might rain again at any time. This part of the line has been fairly quiet in spite of the papers' talk of the heavy British shelling. Of course, we are doing a certain amount of shelling and, when we do let them have it, all the batteries of the Division concentrate on the one target. The point fired on must be a perfect inferno as that means about eighteen batteries including several 4.5 howitzer batteries all firing at gun fire for some thirty minutes. These strafes come off once daily and usually at night. Of course, there is usually some other shoot as well during the day. Last night at twelve thirty am a regular tornado of shells hurtled over to Boschie for half an hour and we hit off with eight rounds per gun per minute for the first one hundred and sixty rounds. That gives you some idea of what it is like with the other batteries round doing the same. Down south a lot of heavy firing has been heard and we hear we have done well, the attack being launched yesterday morning at 11.30 am and we were advancing on a ten-mile front. I think I forgot to mention before that we lost our Colonel Kerwin about a fortnight ago as he has been promoted to General. We were all very sorry to lose him as he was a spelndid man. We have had another sick-looking individual for a few days but he went off in an ambulance about four days ago and I don't think he will be much loss. It's a pity you cant get the rain we have been having here. It simply pours. No more news.

Ever your loving son,



  1. This temporary commander seems to have been Lt Col Henry Edward Vallentin DSO - wounded in 1914...apparently hospitalised on 28th June and temporarily replaced by Major Powell.

  2. He doesn't get much sympathy from my grandfather, does he?