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Date: September 27th 1918
John Hudgins

Bexhill on Sea

Sep. 27th, 1918


Dear Ollie:


Will try and scratch you a few lines tonight or you think am dead or sick.  But it is one devil of a job to get time to do anything outside drill and write notes at night.  I get so cramped up and ugly that it’s not safe to come within throwing distance.  I reckon I never was intended for a pen pusher but will stand a lot of this kind of work rather than France for a time.  But suppose will get fed up on it in time and think I would rather be in France.  Am forgetting the hard times I had over there already and have only been away five weeks.  Well we are having England weather.  It rains ever day and cold winds.  Sometimes I wish I had pants on for I never know what minute the wind is going to wrap my skirt up over my shoulders.  Must tell you the trick one of the bayonet fighting instructors played on me last week.  We were doing some practice stabbing around with our bayonets at dummies and this devil kept working me around until he got me facing a crowd of young ladies then drove my target down low and close up to me.  Well you know in this game we use any thing at all as long as you get your man and I can tell you a pr of Kitchener’s prides can do good work at close quarters (Boots I mean).  Well I wasn’t thinking much about young ladies about that time and I let drive with my foot and mister man pulled my man away and of course when there was nothing to stop mister boot I couldn’t and up over my head it sailed.  But for a wonder was wearing shorts that day, don’t very often do it for we are not supposed to wear anything under the Kilt.  Well you should have heard them females gasp and snicker and that instructor, I thot’, he would have a fit.  It made me feel rather foolish but if people don’t want to see you queer sights they don’t want to come around when I am doing bayonet fighting. 


Well we had a great lecture tonight by some old Naval Officer, and you bet he was some old salt.  He was telling us what they did and how people wondered why they didn’t catch all the subs.  He said there was a man asked the other day why they didn’t hunt them out.  By the way it was an officer of the flying corp.  Well says he, “I looked at that chap and a happy thot’ struck me.  So I just asked him why in Hell he didn’t stop the Hun planes from flying for you can see and hear a plane and a sub can sink and stop its engines and you can’t see or hear him.”  “And you know,” says he, “the Atlantic is quite a large pond to find anything in when you can’t see it.”  He kept us in a roar all thro’ the lecture with stories and his cussing.  And I reckon he is about right.  We may think sometimes that the Navy isn’t doing much but I guess if everything was known she is doing her share.


Well by cracky it’s 9:30 and I have got a lot of work to do yet tonight.  This is a hell of a letter but honest I did not plan to ramble around like this when I started.  I got a box from you last week and also a couple of letters.  Heard from the Bn. old D was badly cut up but no one you know.  Kempton was seriously wounded but have not heard whether he died or not.  Major Anderson’s brother is in charge of D Coy now but he will never be able to hold a candle with old Andy or Capt McKinnon.  Must quit.

 Love to all




Original Scans

Original Scans

Letter. Hudgins, John. 1918.09.27 Letter. Hudgins, John. 1918.09.27 Letter. Hudgins, John. 1918.09.27 Envelope, front. Hudgins, John. 1918.09.27 Envelope, back. Hudgins, John. 1918.09.27