Fancy a soldier having roast chicken

The Royal Dugout

Since writing to you last week the rest of the mail came in and I received another from you, it had been written a week earlier than the first letter I got. It was dated 18th August and the other was 24th. But such vagaries are common here and we are glad to get them no matter how.

We have had a very quiet week, I'm not speaking for Abdul but even he has not had so many gifts this week, he gets a few 6 inch Howitzer shells onto his roof every now and again, which no doubt stirs him up, it would me, I know, we got a few schrapnel – 75s this morning but no material damage done in the trenches. The schrapnel are practically harmless as we can hear them coming, but the 75s give you no warning whatever but we don't mind them very much now.

They have turned their attention lately to Schrapnel Gully where the Engineers, the cooks, water carriers, and the QuaterMasters are camped and have been giving it sundry and unexpected doses of schrapnel.

Ernie is down there among the stores and he has had a few narrow shaves. He's as fat as a porpoise and we are able to see each other every couple of days.

On Thursday night the stretcher bearers A-Coy. carried a man past who had been gased. The Turks had given them a gas bomb and soon after an Officer came round to see that we all had our respirators and helmets handy but no more followed.

We have “gas” bombs and shells here but we don't use them. I think we only used them once and that was before we the 22nd. Battn came here.

When they fired on our Hospital Ship, they afterward apologised and said it was a mistake.

Last night we had a lovely wind and rainstorm, a forerunner of what we may expect soon I suppose, and it blew some of our provision barges ashore.

Stan Fletcher was down for his usual day break swim, and despite the fact that an armed guard was placed over the wrecks, managed to collar a tin of Roast Chicken. Some poor officer will go short perhaps, anyhow it will make a nice change from bully. Fancy a soldier having roast chicken, perhaps we had better take it back, eh?

I got eighteen letters altogether last mail, but as I am running short of paper and especially envelopes I will not be able to answer them. So will you please explain the reason to the following when you happen to see them Uncle Will, Violet, Miss Astley, Miss Woodfield, Mrs Grundy, and Lizzie.

Mr Carey too has been very good to me, sending me Specs, souveigners etc. Miss Astley sent me a beautiful letter which I appreciated very much. I may be able to drop them a line in the future, but of course I cannot promise anything.

Somebody sent some gifts to the soldiers but enough to go round between seven men. We got one tin of sardines, ten dried figs, two and half dozen biscuits, and four small pieces of cholcolate.

I received a toothful of chocolate as my share. Oh well, be thankful for small mercies.

I hope you are quite well and not worrying too much and things are going on alright.

Your loving son.

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