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Private Alec Childerley Cambridgeshire Regiment, Eltisley

No doubt you will be surprised to hear I have been wounded in the back, but I am going on nicely. I should never have been alive to tell the tale if it hadn’t been for the parcel you sent me in the wooden box. We were going in the trenches to relieve another battalion when all of a sudden a shell from the Germans burst within a short distance of us. I was hit in the back by a piece. I had got the wooden box tied to my back and it was smashed to pieces and all the contents. The tin with the Oxo cubes was bent all shapes. I have only the parcel to thank   for my life. I happened on a St Neots boy this afternoon at the Dressing Station, his name is Bill Gilbert. He was sick but I am glad to say was not wounded. I am quite happy and well looked after and in a few weeks will be fit again.

Lance Corporal Sidney Rose Cambridgeshire Regiment, Eltisley

Thank you very much for the “Advertiser” and letter, which I received safely. No doubt you saw in the papers about the charge of our regiment on Oct 14th. Well, that is not all. We were in the big advance last week. In the mist I got lost but I got where I had orders to go. We advanced nearly a mile deep, and took a lot of prisoners. I got several myself and it was great sport poking them out of dug-outs with our bayonets. Lance-corp Day, who was in the St Neots Post Office, was killed in the attack by a sniper who happened to get left behind in the mist. Tell his people he won’t snipe again, a pal of mine blew half his head off first shot. Day was shot through the heart and suffered no pain. We only had about 63 casualties, so we did pretty well. I saw Frank Riseley after he was hit, but I didn’t think he would be sent to England. I also saw Alix Childerley, but I never spoke to him, so I didn’t know it was him until I passed him. It was pretty rough when he got hit I can tell you. We are now out on rest, after being in the thick of the fighting on the Somme for three months without getting a rest. I think there is a chance of getting home again before long, as we have all been promised leave. I am A1. Don’t forget Christmas puddings.