Original Letter

France

26th October, 1917

My Dearest –

Does it bore you to listen to what I’ve been doing? Well, if you are sure it doesn’t I’ll carry on with my daily wail. But it is not intended to be a wail – it only sounds like one. For I find this pioneering busy most interesting and enthralling. First of all our fire that is the key note of the days proceedings. This morning just by chance we hit on the way to stop it from smoking. It is not to light a fire in it! So one of our perfectly good pioneers came to the rescue – a tinsmith “Tinny” Turnbull and he has made us a beautiful stove of an oil drum and biscuit tins  It has a real door that opens and shuts and a damper that really works and the stovepipe is square about 3” and has lots of beautiful joints. Just this moment it is finished and they – Turkey and Tinny  are starting her up. In a moment I’ll be able to report progress. Voila it is away in a barrel of dust and it’s a beauty. The heat is intense and we are basking in it. In a matter of two minutes our home is transformed. The roof has been leaking badly – it is a tarpaulin and yesterday we had to do some typing. Our table is stationary and could not be moved and it was the wettest place so I sat on a sandbag in the door way and held the machine on my knees while Turk squatted and typed. But there is a world of amusement in this place and it is not disagreeable – right here. But the man in the line! God help him. At the same time they come out clean up and are as good as new in a few days. I shall never cease marvelling at their endurance.

There has been no mail yet to-day but we hear of a man who has talked to a man who saw one and he saw that the French are doing splendid things, that Fritz is retreating in Russia – that there is going to be bacon and bread for breakfast and lots of grand news. I hope that all these things are true. Everyone here seems full of hope and pepper.

What are you doing on your farm today. I have given you an account of the doings on ours  Do you love me to-day like I love you? If you do, Dear, its an awful big love and I am sure you must find it difficult to keep from cheering about it. I took a blood test this afternoon and I find that I love you more than ever  Do you think it possible, Dearest, I find it very hard to but I must. I hope and yearn for you, Dear Mary of mine all the day.

Your very own

Ross

Operation Order

On the evening 26th inst. the 47th Battalion will take over the Front Line and posts from portions of the 46th Bn. and 50th Bn. ... On relief the 50th Bn. will take over accommodation vacated by 47th Bn. with Headquarters at BOETHOEK.

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War Diary

Zero hour for 46th Battn. operation was 5.40 A.M. and the enemy retaliation was prompt and fairly heavy... At 1.30 P.M. the enemy artillery increased in intensity and our machine gun Companies started heavy and prolonged fire. Men of the 46th Bn. were seen to be withdrawing but this was checked by the efforts and example of Lieut. BURGESS, Lieut. GORDON and Lieut. THORNE, 50th Bn. and an Officer of the 46th Bn. Our men held their posts despite the movement through them of the other troops. ... That night Battalion was relieved by 47th Battalion and took over accommodation vacated by that Unit at BOETHOEK FARM, directly West of ABRAHAM HEIGHTS.

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Map

  • Location: Boethoek Farm
  • Battalion role: Support

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