C/62 Battery R.F.A.,
June 15th 1917
Well, my mail sure has bucked up some believe me. I got 2 parcels, some magazines and a box of Walker's caramels besides many letters. Glad to hear you are all still going strong. I hardly think I'll follow your advice about the Jack Johnson as we don't get those over here where we are as we're too far forward. However, we get all the other brands including 11 inch Armour Piercing one of which burst about 500 yds away the other day. They make a noise just like an express train and sure do make one wonderful hole. You could easily put Parker's cottage into one of them. This one did no harm and really they are very inaccurate. Our 12" howitzer is the one for me every time as it's remarkably accurate.
Were strafed a bit this morning with 5.9's & 4.2's but they did no harm. They also chucked some gas shell over but this didn't worry us beyond making our eyes smart a bit as we had plenty of warning and put our box respirators on. They are great and compared to the bosche are wonderful. I picked up a new bosche gas helmet and don't think much of it. It's very uncomfortable to wear and will not last a very long time whereas ours lasts for about 36 hours continuous wear.
Have had plenty of close shaves this time but so far have been too good a ducker. I was in a trench behind the guns the other day and a 5.9 lit about 30 yds away. I was just tilting back my head and had my mouth open, when a chunk of mud went right in!
We had a show on yesterday with our infantry and they went over and took a trench. It was just "straightening that bit of line" as Bairnsfather says but this time it was quite easy. The hun had all his machine guns apart oiling them so our infantry just walked over and took them all prisoners.
In the afternoon he made a feeble counter attack and we all fired on our S.O.S. lines which put the kibosh on him quickly. We were under fire all the time but you don't mind it when you're firing back at all.
Keep up the good work in the letters and magazines, don't mind sending Punch as we get it here from England. It's rotten having to sit around all day when there's nothing to do and have nothing to read.
Well Dad, I'll close now with best regards to Paddy Ella and Nen.