GWL 17th October 1915

Yes, a letter and an F.S. card have gone astray somewhere.  I am awfully sorry, because it must have left you without a letter for some time.  Your letter of the 13th came yesterday.  43 weeks yesterday since we left.  There is a chap here in a howitzer battery called Fiennes.  I have seen him a lot, but did not know his name until yesterday and have not seen him since.  From what one of his subalterns said he is a cousin of the gallant Major of that tribe.

The first night we went in we had the devil of a bomb “strafe”.  A sentry saw a Hun out in front of his post and instead of shooting him, the silly ass hove a bomb at him.  Things were pretty lively for about 20 minutes, but we had the last word.  About half an hour later Hun began again, but he only put over 6, whereupon we kept it up for another half hour.  Since then he has been very good and we are distinctly two up.  Thank goodness Peter was sick.”

The Battalion had relieved the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the forward trenches on the 12th October and the above refers to action on the 13th.  The Battalion were then relieved on the 16th.  The “gallant Major” probably refers to Sir Eustace Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, who, as well as serving in Flanders, was MP for Banbury and PPS to Winston Churchill before the War.  He was the Grandfather of Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

{next post 19th October}

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