You called me brave in your letter

The Royal Dugout, Dardanelles

Dear Dad,

I was very glad to get your letter last mail also found the cuttings very interesting, especially the one relating to H. Hawkers exploits, he's making a name for himself at least. I think that is already done.

At present our work seems to be just to hold our position and to keep the Turks employed. They would help on the flanks where much of the hard fighting is going on.

There are times during the day when you would not think there was a war on all, hardly a rifle shot, but as soon as night falls, there is an awful row. Machine guns after and bombs going for all they are worth but no very great damage every seems to come of it.

At odd hours during the night, sometimes we have what they call a demonstration and last night at 10-5 all along our line we let go two rounds of rapid fire threw a lot of tins and things over the parapet and sent up rockets and coloured light and I think we must have scared the Turks out of their lives for the fired like mad for about half an hour after ward and sent up flares to see if they were attacking. They must have wasted thousands of rounds ball cartridge, when the fellows where just laying down in the bottom of the trench, trying to go to sleep but row keeping them awake.

You called me brave in your letter, well you just ought to see me scuttle for my dugout when they start shelling us and if it gets too hot I make a hooray rush for the nearest sap and wait till the rain rolls by, we don't mind shrapnel when in our dugouts, but draw the line at the high explosives. One lobbed about ten yards behind me this morning and it rained clods of earth for a couple of minutes after. They are shelling us from a new position the last few days and we can't hear them coming they are very silent. Most shells make a loud hiss, anyhow they got in on A Coy officers this morning and got a Major, Captain and signaller, all pretty badly hurt. I believe none killed. I can't stand the fearful wounds some of the shells make.

We had to take one fellow away a couple of days ago with his right arm torn off and it upset me a treat and I am not very squeamish as a rule and yesterday we went to one fellow shot through the head but he was quite dead and you can guess how I liked handling him for we can't get stretcher through the trenches, they are too narrow and as straight as a corkscrew, but I expect I'll get used to this sort of thing soon. We have not started yet.

Have noticed in some of the papers that some Melbourne firms have decided to make up the wages for those on active service but have not seen N's name amongst them. I had a letter from Mr. Gobel the other day, young George has gone into camp, he himself had been home ill five weeks and they had a ruler in from Dets things anyhow I believe.

I got twelve letters last mail and two more this morning. I will answer all I can but the envelopes won't hold out hoping this business will soon end.

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