Private W Webb Croxton D company 1st Beds

I am sending you this letter for the Advertiser, hoping you received my last war letter safe. Just a few more lines to let you know that we are still smiling and quite happy and are already proving victorious no matter where we go. Things have been very quiet lately, with the exception of a few Jack Johnsons bursting around us. Jack Johnson is the name of the German shell which gives us a good shaking and sometimes. We have driven the Germans back and have captured their trenches, which were in a very bad condition, they were full of mud and water up to our knees and several of us have caught a severe cold. We are in and out of the trenches now every 48 hours and we are getting some very bad weather. I saw in private chandler’s letter about one of our fellows fighting with the German officer, well that fellow was lance corporal Barlow, I’m quite right to, he did have him buckled up. The boys of the old 14th can hit hard as well as shoot straight and when the Germans know that we are in the trenches they do not forget to keep down. In some places they are no more than 50 yards away, and very often shout across to us.  I have had four narrow escapes. I had a shrapnel bullet go through my cap, just catching my head, which knocked me down for a few minutes, it is taught my half way across the top. The next one I got across the back of my hand, which just cut me, but not serious:  minute the third cut through the peak of my cap and the fourth one hit my rifle just as I was taking a at a few Germans who work exposing themselves too much. The bullet hit my rifle not an eighth of an inch from my little finger on my left hand. If I had moved my hand a bit further down I should be minus two fingers.  I had rather a surprise a few days ago. Whilst all sentry duty in the trenches I saw two Germans knocking on their hands to keep them warm and in a few minutes I had them both. A third man came up I looked across to me through a pair of glasses and I soon having on the ground. What surprised me was they   stood up on  top of their trenches just to see what was going on. I must say that some of them are very brave indeed. That is three more Germans I can put on my list. Please remember me two wall in Croxton not forgetting those who have joined the army, wishing then every success.

 

Private M Byatt 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment

Just a few lines hoping St Neots is looking quite as well as it was before I left on August 8th 1914.  I am sorry to say we have had a lot of wet weather last month.  I am glad to say the troops have had quite a fine time in the trenches at Christmas time. The Germans came out of their trenches and called out to the Bedford’s to go one at a time half way, and they would come half way, so we stopped firing at them and went half way across to them and had smokes together with them, so they asked us if we would have a game of football with them. We had not got a ball with us, or I think we should have had a game with them.