Friday, November 23, 2007

Quorn Mercury November 2, 1916 (extract)

Dear Mother and Father – I am in high glee on the receipt of your letter today of July 9, and they came as an extra surprise to me as we are again on our way to the firing line, and did not expect to receive any mail until after we returned from the firing line. I am going up for a second cut at the Germans and had a great experience the last time, but came through all right, although I had some pretty close calls, and I hardly know how to explain to you what it is like, but you can pretty well imagine what the feeling would be when you see others getting knocked over right near you and all the writing and talking would not give you any idea of the sensation of a big shell bursting around you: the only one I can give is that your inside all goes up into a knot and when you hear the whistle of them coming through the air you flop down and after the bang the place is all torn up terribly. We were on the ammunition fatigue carrying up material to the firing line, and had to go through a lot of this, but we sort of got used to it and if a shell burst anywhere near you, then you get covered all over with dust, and then you just get up and shake yourself and run like mad until the next one comes along.
I often have a good laugh now at our experiences, for there were certainly some very funny things happened which at the time I did not feel much like laughing, anyhow we all make up for it now. I believe we have to go to the front line this time, but I don’t think it will be much worse than the ammunition column. Anyhow, I hope and wish to be able to stand it as well as last time, and also that if I do happen to get knocked that you will not worry over me, for there are hundreds of other better fellows than me going out, and I will not write anymore about this sort of thing that we are going through. I would not mind some more of the old camp days back again that we had in Australia, for I can say they were the time of my life. I met Jim Turner as we were coming out last time. He was on his way up to the front, but I hadn’t a chance to speak to him, but he looked real well, and as fat as could be. I should have liked to have had a talk to him but still I may be able to do so some other time if I drop across him.
I would dearly like to get some nice souvenir to send home, but up to now we have not had the opportunity, being billeted in very poor places to get anything nice, but if I can get my eyes on to something you can be sure that I will get it for you. So I will now close with best love and wishes to all. – From your loving son, Roy J G Burr
(Since this letter has been received news has been received that Private Burr has been wounded).

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