Thanks for the smokes, they came in very acceptable as I was clean out of them, and we cannot buy any where we are now, even if we had the money, as we are a long way from habitations. It is very hot in the daytime. We are wearing khaki helmets, and want them too, but it is very cold at nights. We keep on smiling as we know it is no use grumbling. As for the dear Homeland, not a day or night passes but I think about it, and hope it will not be long before I see it again.
We have had a rough time of it where we have been. We were in a dug-out made of iron at the side of a canal. I was in one with 19 more men when the Germans shelled us like lightening. One shell, it must have been one of the largest the Germans had, came right in the dug-out. I was in the far corner. The shell killed our Sergeant, Corporal, and four men. They were blown to pieces. A Sergeant and four men were wounded and two have since died making a death roll of eight. All were in my platoon. I got a good shaking up, and was smothered in mud, and got a scratch on the face. This is the narrowest I have had to being killed. I shall never so long as I like forget it. One of my pals had a leg off, and both feet, and was hit in the head. He had some rum and smoked a cigarette as he chatted to me as he lay on a stretcher. He died in hospital. One thing that was very sad was that two of these men were brothers. They worked together, enlisted together, went home on leave together and died together.
Could you please find a small space in your paper, of which I am a frequent reader since out here up to being severely wounded on March 19th with rifle fire, the bullet entering my neck close to my throat and coming out the back. I am very sorry to say I have no use in my left hand at present, but hope to regain it again. I have been admitted into No 1 Canadian General Hospital, G Ward, Army Post Office, Section 11, BEF France. My wife resides in Cambridge Street, St Neots. We had just come out of the trenches the same night as I got bowled over. We were to have had twelve days rest at billets as they call them. I had got safely out of the trenches when my Platoon Officer came up to me and asked me if I would go and guide our Platoon snipers to their billets. The German snipers very soon sniped me with a bullet through me. It might have been far worse. Well, for all that I am hoping to be removed to dear old Blighty in hospital as soon as possible.
St Neots Museum
The Old Court
8 New Street
St Neots PE19 1AE
Opening and admission
We’re open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm.
Free entry to the museum for local residents. Non-residents: Adults £3, seniors £2 and children £1.
Fees apply for some events.