Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: July 9th 1915
Mr. J. M. Baird
T. Hannah

Letter from Pte. Hannah

We also quote from a letter from the firing line, written to Mr. J. M. Baird, of the Wabi Iron Works. The writer is Private T. Hannah, who, prior to the war, worked at Hanbury and was a member of the ill fated 15th. Private Hannah has had an experience through which very few of us would dare to attempt to pass.

Dear Jack:--
When I came out of the trenches there was a letter waiting for me, and I was pleased to see that all is well in Liskeard, and this leaves me as fit as a fiddle and still full of fight. I am glad to see that you are getting plenty of work, and I am too, but not the right sort, but I will do the best I can. Well Jack, this is not war, it is simply murder. I enclose you a scrap of paper telling of my last big scrap with the Huns, as I must not tell you myself. (The clipping refers to the terrific battle in which the Canadians "saved the day" during May 18-27) I think the Canadian Highlanders were the only ones who ever attempted to storm a trench by day light. It was hell let loose, shrapnel, machine guns and rifles all at us at once, but we went through it at an awful cost, and I believe I am the luckiest man in the world to-day, for after we got to the trench there were eighteen of us between traverses when a shell got us and sixteen of us went down. I have often read of the battlefield, but this beats everything. What I have seen would turn men's hair white, but I am happy and ready for anything that comes my way. I am better than ten Germans any old day. I hope my good luck will continue. You ask me about two men, well, I may tell you that out of a regiment of eleven hundred and sixty there remain fifty-four including pipers, transport and stores men, who are never near the firing line. All our officers but the major are gone. . . . . .We spend more ammunition in one battle than the whole S.A. war cost. . . . . .Before I close Jack, our losses are heavier than any other battalion. We were surrounded and had one awful fight to form new trenches until we got reinforced. . . . . .When you write let me know what taste johnny walker has, I have forgotten."