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A Letter from the Trenches

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It is Sunday around 7pm and a little quiet so here goes, I received two more letters from you yesterday, I was delighted to have the two articles, and have not grown tired of looking at them. I hope you are all looking fine and I pray that you will send me some more. I hope you get things fixed up pretty nifty, I’ll hardly know the place when I come back, it’s very good of the people to help you as they are doing and I’ll have to write Mr. Jackson & Green and ask them to take care of the house. I laughed to myself when I read of your trip down to the store with Johnny & the tire swing Well I’ll tell you what I have been doing today – It’s been rather a quiet day for this part of the world. The guns have not been barking very much & Fritz has left us pretty alone – I guess they are glad too, for we have been shaking them up pretty badly this last week, our artillery is beginning to open up a little just as I write.

I got up(not a very intricate process here) about 9 am, & after attending a parade which lasted only a few minutes returned to the dugout with two of my dugout pals, we lit the fire & we made tea, & had breakfast which consisted of Tea – bread and margarine and some apricot jam, after breakfast we tidied up ourselves, smoked until dinner time – at 12 noon I had tea, did not feel like eating (too soon after breakfast) & got myself ready for bathing parade, this operation consisted in taking off my underwear, and after looking over it for lice, I then grabbed some bully beef putting it the fire to boil while I was away getting a bath, this is the first I have had since I came up to the front line & heaven knows when I shall get another, there were 100 of us to go – well we marched about 1 mile to a village or rather what had once been a village before the Hun guns laid it in ruins – the bath house was an old building which had been fixed up a little, when we arrived a change of clothing was handed to each man and he passed out, also a towel, my change consisted of a dubious looking grey shirt – a pair of white work pants which just come down to about an inch above my knees – I think they must have been meant for some 200 lbs French lady – they were very similar boots which come up to my knees, I gave a man 5 francs for them he was going back to England they are just the thing for here.

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I wish you could see the airplanes at work, there are all kinds of them & they are doing great things. The country around is ripped and torn with shell and there are bombs everywhere you go its quite awful to see the villages as nothing but piles of ruins, and there are thousands and thousands of graves where the British and the French & The Hun are all together in places where you can hardly stand the stench from decaying flesh, when we are digging, we will often turn up bodies or arms legs and things, just the other day I was out in charge of a working party and we were working in some trench which had been taken from Fritz, just a little distance away I saw a German boot & on bending down to pick it up, I found to my disgust etc. that it contained a severed leg.

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