Archive for July, 2015

Promotions

Posted: July 31, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

It is sometime now since we received our last mail, so I presume one will be along shortly.

Everything is going on the same. A few promotions came out the other day. Jim Davidson is to be lance Sergeant, Frank Colby a corporal, and myself a corporal. I seem to be getting stripes at the rate of one every six months, as it is just six months since my last promotion. My rate of pay will be 10/- per day now, and my work hardly changes at all.

The weather, flies and lice cause us more trouble than all the Turks put together. Water is another trouble. All our water, ever since we have been here, has had to be carried up to the troops in tins from the wells and beach. You will see a string of men with cane dangling round their legs, dodging schrapnel, off for water. We use a lot of shell benzine two gallon tins. It is very hard work getting the full tins up the hills. Some of our men have to do a two miles trip, and carry back four tins each.

I am going strong on the cooking game now. We are always experimenting on the various ways of dishing up biscuits, and we make quite palatable dishes too. All our little crowd is well. Haven’t heard anything of the Legion of Cousins lately – trust they are alright.

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Too big for the trenches

Posted: July 27, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

That parcel containing socks and pencils arrived for Crowie, I am holding them at present. Fordham came back today, he had been away nearly seven weeks with a whitlow on his hand. He is looking very well. Everything is moving in the same old way. The life here is intensely interesting for about ten days, but after that the gloss wears off, and everything merges into big monotony.

I find that the small man gets on much better in these trenches, than the big man. Everyone says I have got thin, but I still find I am about five sizes too big to move about in comfort. If I am in a tunnel I bump my head, and if I try to pass anyone in a trench I get stuck – in either case I can never miss pulling about half a pound of loose dirt down on to my head which proceeds very nicely down my back.

All the old boys that are left are well. Jonah, DuReiu, Sgt. Clark, Lieut. Loutit. Harry Nott has gone away for a rest. One thing I like about Harry is that he is always out very slick if there is anyone wounded, no matter how much shrapnel is flying. Have been living on bread and milk, boiled onions, billy tea, and fried biscuits today.

Best love to you all,

Lance.

Don’t publish any of my letters

Posted: July 23, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

Was very pleased to receive your mail of the 19th  a couple of days ago. I have received all my mail right up to date now. I must have received something like 25 letters this week, if not more. Life is jogging along in the same old way – plenty of work of course. Everyone is getting sick of things here. Most of the fellows are keeping well. DuReiu, Jonah, Jose, Fisher, and Lieut. Loutit, are still going strong. I saw Lieut. Smyth’s grave today. There is a plain cross over it, with the words “In memory of Lieut. R. Owen Smyth, killed in action 1915”, on it.

Ran across ray Wilson and Tom Pollock, also Pat Bennett of Walkerville today. They are all well. Ray is looking very thin on it. Tom gave me three eggs he had managed to commandeer, they were a great luxury, I can tell you.

After some of the letters in the papers, don’t dare to publish any of my letters. All of them are exaggerated and half of them lies. A chap’s pen is apt to run away at times, and I don’t want to be caught napping – it is easy to make a mistake.

We are all mad

Posted: July 20, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

Received all my back mail today, also papers and envelopes from Miss Sanders of Semaphore. I have received about 20 letters altogether in the last two days – not bad eh! I also received your first cable, sent 3/5/15. Glad you received those trinkets quite safely.

I am sure we are all mad here, you notice it every day. Fellows see sudden death looming just at their feet in the shape of a big shell, and they just stand there and laugh. The Indians say, so they story runs, “that shell comes, Englishman get in dugout, another comes, Indian get in dugout, another comes, Australian looks up and says “ I wonder where in the —that—came from.”

Best love to you all,

From

Lance.

Busy Turks

Posted: July 19, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

Things are quietly jogging along here. Yesterday the Turks got busy, and put a few 8-2” howitzer shells over this way – a few nasty pieces of casing lobbed very close to my dugout. I have a great reward for my dugout on such occasions. A few strays in regards mail turned up last night. I received a letter of Mollie’s and a couple of Nora’s, also that parcel with the singlet, atlas, this book, sox, mittens and sweets in – many thanks for them.

I am still dishing out rations etc. to the diggers – have 61 men now under me. A few shells have been very persistent the last few days; will insist in coming right up to the door of my dugout – I don’t like it.

Digging and Sapping

Posted: July 17, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

The last few days I have been on a permanent digging job. I was in charge of a party driving saps, but now I am acting as quartermaster to all the men digging (56). I think the sapping was the most interesting of the two jobs. We were working in shifts of four hours on and eight off. The short time I was on I learnt quite a lot about mining and engineering. As Q,M. I issue all the rations to the various shifts. The chief advantages are getting a full night’s sleep, and I am practically my own boss.

Everyone is getting heartily sick of this game, it is affecting the men’s spirits too. Jonah had the good luck to be mentioned in despatches for feeding the firing line whilst wounded, in the first few days. He had a nasty clip on the head.

The old original crowd has dwindled down to three of us now, and I don’t even see too much of the other two, DuRieu and Jonah, either now-a-days.

News is very scarce, a couple of bob pipes would be acceptable. Don’t get good ones because they will most probably go astray. I have only the one Flo gave me now.

Coffey stopped one in the jaw

Posted: July 14, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

Coffey stopped one in the jaw this morning. It is rather a nasty hit although not at all dangerous.