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Date: November 17th 1916
John Cox


Is Now in Hospital in Birmingham With Sprained Ankles.

Birmingham, Oct. 27.

Dear Mother,- I guess you will be surprised to hear from me in England. I am in a big hospital in Birmingham. I have got sprained ankles, and they are getting on fair. I was on a working party running wires from our infantry to our artillery between the front line and supports. I had a coil of wire nearly 200 pounds on my back and it wasn't very light. We were running it through a narrow trench. I must have stepped on a block of chalk, for my ankles went out from under me. I limped back to camp, and was brought the rest of the way on a stretcher, the longest ride I ever had on the government without walking. I don't know when I will be able to walk, but I guess it will be soon. I sprained my ankles over a week ago and they don't hurt like they did at first. We are winning fine on the Somme. We got lots of balloons up, and Fritz can't get any up. We knock them down as fast as he puts them up. I went over to Belgium when we first went over and after a month we moved down to the Somme. I have seen two months of active service, and we sure had lots of hard marches.

Hoping this finds you all well, as it leaves me O.K.

Your loving son.


P.S.- Jack Barrett and the two Silva boys are all O.K. when I left France. I think A. Martin will be in a convalescent Home by now, he got three pieces of shrapnel in his left arm and one in his neck. He was on a raid on Fritz' trenches when he got hit. And he brought a prisoner back with him, they asked for volunteers for the raid. Jack Barrett, Angus and I went over with the party, the Fritzes run like rats with hot water on them. Jack Barrett got two with a bomb. I got a German rifle in the raid; it was a 1902 rifle and was nice and shiny. I went over as a special bomber. A. Martin is one of the best battalion bombers.

This letter won't pass the censor in Belgium, so am sending it now. I had it handed back to me.

Dear Bill,- I haven't had a letter from you lately, but I guess there is one coming soon, the best times here are when we get a letter from home. I was on a raid in the Germans trenches last Sunday, we had a lot of sport; we took ten prisoners and killed a lot. The prisoners said, "Mercy comrade, me friend, me friend." One kissed our sergeant to show how friendly he was. We were thanked by the Commander for the successful raid. I don't think we will go on another for some time. We are going out for a rest tonight. I guess you heard about Angus.

Hoping you are all in the best of health, as I am the same.

Yours truly, JOHN COX.