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Date: July 18th 1916

From: Flanders, Dug-on-mud 

 My own dear Mother,

 Just a short note to let you know we are all well and in the land of the living.  Have had it rather warm in spots.  Am not supposed to say anything about the matter but so far the Hun has only ripped my breeches with shrapnel and filled my eyes and mouth with sand by a bullet through the parapet which also knocked off my helmet and scared the supreme nerve out of me and wish for shortness, and deafened me temporarily with high explosive shells.  No telling when our last  moment will come.  Haven’t been out of sound of guns since arriving.  One can never get quite settled to the heavy stuff.

 Was out in charge of a party of 50 men last night.  It was raining and there were scores of other parties and bound to mix and confusion was rife.  Suddenly I began to exercise the freedom of speech for which the Anglo Saxon race is fighting for and when pausing for breath a calm voice inquired “How are you tonight?”  One of my old sergeants from the 51st .  Wouldn’t that jar you?

 Glad you had it fine and warm there__ in June.  No news here.  We get lots to eat and drink—except when actually “at it” and usually a change of sox after a drenching so we are lucky.  Money is little use here, so speculate with what I have.  Have made and lost large sums over here.

 Love to all,