B. E. F.
1. 7. 1916.
My dear Mother,
I never thanked you for your cake which arrived quite safely & looked very good, as alas in transit it found its way to one of the Company messes who devoured it & I got theirs instead & I am sure mine was the better.
I return Cecily’s photograph, but don’t see much value in it, as it might just as well represent anyone else. I have just heard that the big push has begun & that the first day’s plans to advance 1000 yards on a 20 mile front were carried out. I wonder if it’s true as if so, we shall have peace on us before we can prevent it. I have been writing reports on our raid since the day it came off & am by this time fairly sick of it, though I am still cheered by its success. I don’t know that there is much more I can tell you in a letter about it. Lane Nichols had an amusing time in a dug out with 5 Bosches only one of
whom resisted & he got shot. 3 of the others he pulled out individually & made prisoners by dint of ramming his revolver into their ribs. One last he pulled out from under a bed by his hair. They were Prussians but had not much go in them. though Ian Underhills Battn. had a similar show on at the same time & they found the Bosch sitting up & taking notice – & didn’t do much good in consequence. I enclose the gassed button as promised & will try to include a tassel worn by a Bosch N. C. O. as a sword knot if the envelope will take it. also a coin, which you will notice is new & made of some very poor metal. Reynolds another of our officers was slightly
wounded & 2 men fairly seriously & 4 very slightly, so we came off well.
I had a very advantageous position to see it from in the front line & was quite comfortable, till someone dropped in a Bosch prisoner on top of me. He contrived to fall in sideways & still keep his hands up murmuring Kameral – rather a feat. So we incarcerated him & then one of those fools of R. E. ^ who had gone over with 20 lbs of explosives to blow up anything of interest in the enemy trench came back without using it & started the bomb off accidentally in our trench just behind me. He then said run & cleared off & I covered, as I heard the
thing foozling & thought it was a Minnie that had come off. Actually we had to wait 3 minutes for it to go off, as it had a 3 minute fuse & if the ass had only kept his head, we could have dealt with it, but no one knew what it was.
It made an unholy mess of our trench & we had to dig one of our officers out of a dug-out where he was surrounded by timbers & ammunition boxes & bombs etc with only his head sticking out. No one was injured except the R. E. who I’m glad to say has got shell shock.
Love to all Jack
We move to-day a mile up the road to L____.