18th September 1900
Spitz Kop Lydenburg Dish [?]
I must drop you a few lines to let you know we are still alive & kicking. You will know by the papers long before this reaches you that we have done some pretty steady fighting, but we have been very successful. We have taken on positions in a couple of days which the Boers consider impregnable. They gave us a lively time of it sometimes, however. One day, in the Crocodile Valley, they got our brigade into a rocky donga and shelled us all day with 4 big guns. As one of our Irishmen said, "They threw coalstones filled with brimstone & scrapiron at us all day", but did not do a great deal of damage. I tell you it is quite an experience lying behind the rocks with 200 lb shells bursting all round you & throwing chunks of rock and scrap iron all round. They threw one unlucky shell into our camp at Sydenburn; it killed 3 & wounded 17 of the Gordons.
You would be surprised if you saw me as I write. Twelve of us are on outpost duty in front of the enemy's lines, yet we are sitting in a nice little room, well furnished with easy chairs, lounges, piano, etc., having a good time. Of course we do not often strike such snaps, especially when we are on the march. The Boers are coming in pretty freely now and giving up their arms. We hope to be sent home pretty soon, altho it is hard for us to tell anything about it.
Botha has resigned command of the Boer army & Kruger is likely to have skipped. Our horses are pretty well done up now, in fact, we are only about half strength mounted. My little fellow is doing fine & is as good a horse as there is in the regiment. I wish I could bring him home when I come & he is a dandy. Charlie had a good old horse too, but he dropped on the road the other day & was left behind.
I must ask you to excuse this being short, but I must get a little sleep as I go on sentry at 1.30, so I will close by assuring you we are both in first rate shape, without a scratch & hoping you are all well and happy. With best love to you all.
Your affec. son,
P.S. Remember me to all friends
P.S. Enclosed find one or two stamps for Vic & a Dutch betrothal card I picked up in a Boer house for you. If I can hang onto them, I will have quite a few relics of one kind or another to show you when I get home, such as Boer ammunition, bullets, etc.
P.S. Have just opened the letter before posting, that we got telegram today conferring V.C. on one of our lads. You may guess we are all pleased.