The Trenches

Posted: November 13, 2015 by saraherhodes in 1915

Although I have no news of particular interest I am writing to let you know my health and general being is normal. I have mentioned once or twice that we were going to be relieved, well, it is in sight, and we are as certain of going as it is possible to be in the Military. We are leaving on Monday for Lemnos. I don’t relish the getting to and fro though. I have still vivid recollections of my last general shift.

A most peculiar affair happened to me yesterday. About 3 a.m. I woke up to find my nose bleeding profusely, much to the detriment of my blankets and equipment etc. It refused to stop too, moreover. About 9 o’clock I went down to the Doctor and he plugged my nose up, but still it didn’t stop. Of course it slackened up, but it was leaking away all day and last night.

This morning I had it replugged, and it seems to have stopped at last. The opinion is that I burst a small blood vessel. I must have lost a fair amount of blood as all the trenches are in an awful mess, quite lurid in fact, and I was feeling quite weak. However, I can now report O.K., but have to keep quiet.

I made a few more Christmas cards yesterday to fill in the time and will forward them before long. I believe there was a big mail for us which has been returned to Lemnos.

Do you remember me telling you about a little Frenchman who enlisted at Morphetville? He is our dispenser now – used to be in Strempel’s. His name is Pierre Beaker. I was having a great yarn to him this morning whilst waiting for the Doctor. He was telling me about his forefathers. His family were fighting with Saladin in the Crusades and they have the armour yet. His great-grandfather and grandfather were personal friends of the three Napoleons – went through the Franco- Italian, Australian, Prussian, Russian, and Waterloo campaigns. His grandfathers (2) lived to the ages of 97 and 91 respectively – were also well mixed up in the Revolution. His father was an adviser of Napoleon III and because he opposed him in some things was exiled from France. Pierre and his father were both friends of Victor Hugo, also his grandfather was the first man to receive the medal d’Legione d’Honour. The medal is still retained in the family. His narrative, in very broken English, was very interesting. How he came to be a chemist in another man’s shop I can’t say. I believe he was anything but quiet when a boy, and in consequence didn’t pass his M.D. exams. He told the tale with the usual Frenchman’s “verve” and flourishes.

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