GWL January 28th 1915

Resting.  Your letters of the 24th and 25th have arrived.  The next time we go in, there may be some alteration and writing or rather getting letters posted may be a real difficulty.  They say that we shall go in for 12 days, which is an awful thought.  So take no news as good news.  I hate to think of not being able to send you a letter for all that time.  Of course it may not be so.  It seems so hard for you at home. They give us periscopes, so don’t send me one out.  It is freezing hard again and inclined to snow.  The ground is as hard as a brick now.  No half measures this land.  The Kaiser’s Birthday passed off fairly quietly – a good deal of shooting, but nothing serious. McMahon has gone sick and it rather looks as though I should have to take his company – Damn. If any re-arrangement about groceries is necessary I will let you know.  The cold and wet are playing the devil.  Ion was quite right about not sending us up; but I suppose it was necessary.  Men who have been in hottish climates for four or five years are not fit for this game.  All our feet are bad.  Roll on the hot weather.  The sweets and chocolate are so nice.  I am sure we eat a great deal too many of them, but never mind.  We are having a dinner of stewed fruit and fried tinned salmon! I think something will happen inside, don’t you?  We have all taken to rum! There is an issue about every other day, and it being the only spirit we get is very welcome.  Not bad stuff really and very good of its kind.  Has Peter had any news as to when he is going out?  I hear Pagan has arrived in France, but where he is is nobody knows.”

Periscopes were a vital observation tool when in the trenches.  They came in various shapes and sizes but one of the most popular was the Lifeguard Periscope designed by Edgar Duerr of Duerr’s Jam in Manchester.  This is pictured below demonstrated by Richard Duerr.

periscope2lifeguard periscope

{next post 29th January}

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