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Date: August 12th 1916
Robina Kaine - (sister)
Alex Kaine

Aug 12

Dear Bi

Forgot the month but I think this is Saturday. We have just come out from the front line. We left the old spot and came here arriving at night slept and then went in next day. It is fine rolling country and water is scarce just the opposite to what we had. We are now facing one of the strongest points of the G. line I managed well here in fact that all sr. officers who came to the trench were sent to me by the C.O. to explain the junctions and show them the lines. Just told by 2nd in Command there was not a man who would not follow me anywhere nor an officer either. Other Bn. have asked for me to stay in and help them for a time but I got out of it. You cannot imagine a battle but to give you a hint. We enter the communication trench and it takes 1 hr marching to reach the fire trench then comes wire for 30 yds then [50?] yds open and another row of wire then open to the back lines of wire which are very strong then their trenches row after row as far as we can see and dugouts and M.G. enplacements of concrete. Very few people visible only between the lines and there they lie in hundreds. We have had two burying parties every night and still they sprinkle the ground. I have had to crawl among them and in one case took them for a patrol and turned before I knew they were our dead. This and the continual roar of hundreds of guns (each firing about 1000 shots a day) mixed with machine gun and rifle fire if you can imagine it will give you an idea of our position here but we have the upper hand and it is a big improvement on where we have been. Cannot keep souvenirs as it is impossible to carry them we take only what we are in (that is what is on us) and for our time in never even have our boots off. I tell you we enjoy a bath. It would have you all laughing to see me shaving and washing and only ½ cup of water a day to do it with. Well you may just give others the news as I have little news I can give you or that you would understand without a sketch and this I cannot give nor the name of the place where we are We halted here last night and do not know just when we move but at any time. Hot and dry here Behind the lines harvest has begun and looks well.

Best wishes to all.


[Editor’s note: The envelope’s postmark “AUG 26 1916” has been used for dating the letter’s year.]

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