Original Letter

France – 5–9–17

My Dearest Maidie –

I did not get time to write you this morning – the pressure of work etc. But now (the messy “n” in now was caused by the candle falling over) after lunch there is a pause and I am going to write you. You Sweetheart. I want to take you in my arms but as that is impossible I must write instead.

Last night I went to sleep and slept like a top until three this morning. I did not get [back] to sleep very readily so went out to see the weather. It was a glorious night light as day and a gorgeous harvest moon. It made me homesick that moon and I know now why a dog barks at the moon. It’s because looking at it makes it realize what he is missing. At least that is the effect it had on this dog. There is no such thing as stillness here. If there is not the sound of a shell whizzing though the air or exploding then there [is] machine gun or rifle fire. It is awfully interesting and exciting. And in addition from where I am, absolutely safe. The aeroplanes fascinate me and I could watch them all day long if I didn’t have to work.

Last night before going to bed Clark and I went ‘lousing’. He found one but I haven’t one, evidently the creosol is the good stuff so don’t bother sending me anything. I feel pretty glad about being free of them for although I don’t mind being dirty, ordinary dirty, for a little while, I should hate to be disgustfully dirty, as one must be when harbouring totos. On the other hand creosol stings a little if it gets on certain portions of the human frame too intimate to mention. But that has only happened to me once. And in this case ‘once bitten was fifty times shy. It was – well I shall be very careful in future.

I can imagine this life becoming very monotonous but honestly I don’t think that it will be any more monotonous than life anywhere without you. Of course the weather has been good and this particular dugout is comfortable and roomy; wet weather and a bum hole in the ground may make me change my opinions but I am not so sure.

But I didn’t finish telling you of last night After I watched the night and the commotion for a while I came down and visited Turkey who is on the night shift. He is exactly the same old Turk and takes everything quite as a matter of course, has never been sick and is enormously popular. He is now a Lance Corporal, and considers it a huge joke. Afterwards I went back to my bunk and read for a few minutes. Eventually I went to sleep again until six – then got up shaved and washed and had breakfast and went to work. Not very interesting I expect but there isn’t really very much happening just now.

I wrote Harris yesterday afternoon but outside of my letters to you that is all I have written. Writing doesn’t come easy for me – other than writing to you of course – but really this is a divine chance to catch up with correspondence which has been going behind for the past ten years.

Dearest I have done a world of concentrated thinking about you in the past twenty seven hours and I love you, Dearest, worship you. I think that you are far nicer than I can ever realize but, Dear, I realize an awful lot Au revoir Babykins, Je t’aime.

Your own

Ross

War Diary

In the evening about 11.00 P.M. ... bombardment of Battn.Headquarters with Gas Shells. ... this is the first time the new “Mustard Gas” has been used against us.

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Photographs

dugout: dugout: dugout: dugout: dugout: dugout: dugout: dugout: dugout: dugout:

Map

  • Location: Piano Dugout
  • Battalion role: Front

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