Bombardier Joe A Baker

I am writing a few lines to tell you how pleased we are to get the Advertiser. I see young Shaw got wounded. I am very sorry, and hope he will be restored to good health again. I always read the soldiers’ letters but of course we can’t tell you much news. It is very interesting out here to hear news of people one knows, as it’s lively to be in trenches and dug-outs for weeks at a time. By what I read of young Shaws letter I guess we were in the same lot. Those gas shells are cruel; your eyes are as bad as if someone had thrown lime in them. I shan’t forget it I can tell you. We are now at rest in a large wood close to a nice town, where we go for a good swim in some grand baths. Last night I went to the picture house – fancy, not far behind the line and going to the pictures. One afternoon when I was walking down the trenches I met a Bombardier, and he wanted to find our Brigade Headquarters. We got talking and he told me the Brigade he was in was at the other side of the road, and it was the Highland Brigade that was in training at St Neots. Of course we had a good old chat about the common and people he knew. He lodged up Avenue Road, it was most interesting. I was where a young lady at Eaton had received a piece of a German aeroplane. I sent a piece home to Eynesbury. I was at the plane and it was a sight to watch one come down, but I think about seven came down on this front. We are having some very nice weather, some nice showers, which makes things grow. The corn out here looks nice. Well I have been reading a paper we got today and I see Lord Kitchener has got drowned. All the troops out here are very upset about it, it’s very sad. The naval battle we know was a good victory. Sometimes we get a paper six and seven days old when we are up the line. I really must close with kindest regards to you and your staff.