20 April 1917

Friday 20th Apl

Dear Homefolks
Veras of 24th Jan & yours Mum of 24th & 27th Jan & 4th Feby to hand with a few others the other day. Wrote several days ago but didn’t get the chance to post so I’m sending altogether now. Don’t Vera! You make my mouth water describing pantomines like that. I’ll be getting homesick next. If you are down for 12 months, why I’ll be back yet in time to wig your hair _ _ _. Hope that you get on OK at the Shorthand & Book keeping you could teach me a little then – I’d like to know shorthand for a few sentences _ _ _.

Don’t you worry about having no big boys when the war is over – you’ll find that we are bigger nuisances than ever – we’ll be like the proverbial bad penny _ _ _.

Was in a bit of a stunt the other day when another Bn & C&D coys of ours took Hermies. [Canal?] to be in it cos I had a fatigue party carrying up iron rations to feed the M. Guns. Fritz threw a lot of metal at us – it was the worst I had up till then experienced, but we came throu O.K. Gave Fritz a severe towelling & got quite a lot of prisoners. A few mornings later he put a barrage behind us & bombarded us but nothing much came of it. A great number of HEs fell very close to us, but owing to the softness of the earth, only 2 went off. One of the ones that didn’t go off was so close that when it stuck it violently shook our dugout. Just before daybreak the same morning a party of about 40 Fritzs tried to get around on to the right flank of No 1 platoon, & apparently unaware of our position, ran almost into us & altho it was dark, still at 200 yds they were a pretty good target & so they came the proverbial G. Our Lewis gun chopped them up more than a little bit. I bagged one. Had pretty rotten weather nearly all the time we were in. At present we are out just behind the line having a spell with only an occasional shell from Fritz. We move back to the line again before long I think.

Haven’t met Wal or Charlie yet – haven’t even heard of either of them. Young Mr Hill was wounded a few days ago also Sleeman who got hit whilst attacking Hermies. The former shrap throu lungs, the other bullet in thigh.

Will close now with fondest love to all your loving son and brother (big brother to you Vera) Bert






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