Feature Letter of November 29th, 2023
Cox, Bertram Howard
[Written in 1916 by Gunner Bertram Howard Cox while serving with the 59th Overseas Battery, 15th Brigade, stationed at Whitley Camp in England; sent to his brother Carl and sister in-law Mabel.]
This camp has all the Canadian camps beaten in every thing, except in one respect, and in that, it falls so far short that it 's hard to say which is the better, and that is the WEATHER. It's too bad to explain. It rains every day; and a dampness that one can almost taste. The stoves we have, give no heat at all and the temperature in the hut is sometimes below freezing point.
There's a military town about 2 1\2 miles away, called Godalming. We usually go down every Saturday night and Sunday night to the concert given by a Mrs. Henderson free to soldiers. It's London talent and it's the best free show I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. We also have concerts at the YMCA about once a week, all free. You have no idea what the people will do for soldiers. . . .
We have 80 horses now, get more every week, need 120. I am on the Headquarters Party or as it is usually termed the "Suicide Gang". Sounds encouraging doesn't it?
Have just finished taking a telephone course, as this is our chief work at the front as soon as we get into a position. There are about 10 different phones all connected up; from guns to observing officers and to Headquarters and to Divisional Hqtrs. And Infantry Hqtrs. And to the first line trenches etc. and we have to get out and find the breaks in these wires and repair them. Great fun.
The 18 pounder field gun . . . Has a range from 1600 to 6200 yards, most effective at 2500 yards. We haven't done any firing yet, and only do so once, just before going across, which I think is not far off.