17. 8. 1918.
My dear Mother
Many thanks for your last. I am very glad to hear you are getting on all right & hope that you take a holiday soon (if there are still any seats in any trains), when you will get back to normal again.
I have been in the line the last two ^ few days, & things have been very quiet. I watched a Bosch or two through a telescope this morning. They appeared fat & fell fed but a little restive, & I don’t wonder, as they were crossing a road on which our gunners have marked down pretty accurately & sometimes are chased therein by our 18 pdr. shells when the gunner observation officer has nothing else to do – i. e. is awake. They had fun with about 200 Bosches early the ^ other morning who had collected together for in an unusual place for a presumably unlawful purpose & I will
describe what happens as it is fairly descriptive of how things are run & does not give anything away.
This collection swarm covey flock or what you will was discovered by my people who are on the look out for such things, & who promptly telephoned down so that we could let the guns loose & do some damage. As it was about 4 a. m, the gunner was naturally asleep (we have a gunner officer who sleeps at Battn. Hqrs. every night). He on this occasion was very methodical, & it took about half an hour to prod him into activity, find his place on the map & generally get him going. By that time he had discovered that his particular brand of gun could not reach the place, so then he had to ring up the Leavies & they had to be awoke & ungummed in the same way. However in due time they pooped off
& the Bosch, who had kindly remained for at least an hour to let these preparations get complete, took to his heels & disappeared. Shortly after there arrived at the same spot an engine & a couple of red + coaches on their light railway. This waited for a quarter of an hour & then went off & shortly after 3 motor lorries, which loaded up with stretchers & they went off. At first we would suppose that the gunners had done some damage, but I think that in reality the 200 were Bosches who had been gassed by us the night before & had been
sent down to wait for a train at a point which is out of range of our 18 pdrs. Unfortunately they were spotted & had to bolt & I am glad to say that there is nothing worse for a lightly gassed case than unusual exertion, so I trust they are all seriously gassed now. The Bosch gassed us here a bit last night & Battn. Hqrs. sat round a table sneezing & choking in unison for about 20 minutes. it must have been a pathetic sight.
Love to all