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9 December 1914 – Ted to Ben

09 Dec

9/12/14

Dear Ben Is’nt it top hole a man of the 1st Batt getting a V.C. simply splendid, and the 1st one too ever won by the Indian Army; you’ll be awfully pleased I know, so I thought I must write & tell you, though I expect you have seen it in the papers by now. But I hope they say Garhwalis & not Gurkhas- So you can tell old Garin-Fitz that even if we are only imitations, we can give a dam good lead anytime he likes, so there.

You may think you know what mud is, but you don’t till you’ve been in these trenches. It’s the most remarkable stuff in the world. You walk along the trench and grow about 12 feet higher as you proceed, with thick glutinous extra soles to one’s feet. And my kit, the clothes we stand up in, plastered in mud off the side of the trenches.

We’ve been a week here now, things fairly quiet, but thank goodness that awful shell fire has stopped, as least they give us a few shrapnel for lunch, but nothing to what it was when we were here before with J.J.’s all day [‘Jack Jonhnson’ was slang for artillery shells] – Some cavalry are coming to “be broken in to trench work” as the orders were, & we are doing some of the breaking, starting on a squadron of Billy’s push, 9th Hodsons Horse– You see there’s no use for cavalry in their true rôle, so they shove ’em in trenches to help the poor old footsloggers. So they send up squadrons to learn how it’s done-

Sat up till all hours of last night bucking to Nobby, about marriage! How’s the child. Nobby has got a rotten job, qr:mr,[quarter-master] & has to fix up all rations etc, which have to be cooked right back behind & sent up into the trenches to the men. Well every night Nobby has to come up the road, quite a mile of which is always swept by bullets & lots of people have been hit on it. So he has a pretty warm time, though few realise it, & I think people should known, as otherwise people might think he, not being in the trenches, was quite safe. Divil a bit. Tons of love

Ted

Send me some paper like this, it’s awful good for daily chits


The 9th Hodson’s Horse was also known as the Bengal Lancers.

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