G G Hammond letter Nov 15

P/e G.G. Hammond No 3143

2/7th Bat Mc/r Regt

D Comp. 15 platoon

Crowbro’ Sussex

Saturday

Dear Father & Mother

What do you think of the glorious news?  I am delighted.  I was beginning to give up all hope but on Tuesday I thought I would try again.  I was very fortunate in seeing the Adjutant just as he was going to see the Colonel and he said if I cared to wait he would mention my application to him.  After I had waited about an hour I was called in and then the Colonel asked me several questions, where was I educated, what was my father – manager of the Pru in S’port, what I was in civilian life – student for D & C, if I had any private income, I said I should be funded by my father – the Colonel said I must be able to fund at least 50£ per annum.  Well Dad I think you will be able to manage that between you.  Willis will contribute something and I think that one of the family ought to be in the scheme.  It does not do for me to lay the law down about this matter as it all depends on you, but I am just wiring you all particulars.  I think it would be a good idea to approach Mr. Kemp if the thing comes off.  Will resume after answering these questions the Colonel said I could have my application forms, but the Adj could not give them to me at the time as there had been some alterations and they were expecting a new set from the War Office.  However he said he I should have them **, immediately they came I am a bit annoyed at the delay but can only carry on until they come.

I shan’t be sorry to get a commission as I have been picked out to be a grenadier being one of the bravest, coolest and most courageous men in the ranks – bow wow.  From what I can see of it, it is a most dangerous game and is known down here as the Suicide Club.  They only give them 24 to live at the front.  It is our duty to precede an attacking party and clear the enemy’s trenches with bombs, we have had several experiments with Gun Cotton, you would be surprised at the destruction made by the exploding of 1lb of Gun Cotton.

For our experience we had 1lb of Gun Cotton round the trunk of a tree about 10” in diam.  After the explosion the tree was a minus quantity.  There is a great risk of being killed by one of your own bombs as you hold until it is almost time for it to go off so the enemy won’t have any chance of throwing them back.  I shall have to see the Brigadier when I have filled my forms in and then it all rests with him.  I am very keen now.  Old Gus seems to be having a lively time of it with the lice, 50 of our chaps have been “chatty” through sleeping in an old (***) barn whilst on guard.  I don’t think it is worth while coming over to Sport as the only leave we get is 1 pm Sat until Sunday night & the fare is 18/9.  I would give any to be at home for about a week, it is a bit too bad to give me the menu of the dinner when I have to fight for my skilly.  The food is not much better, one day the whole Bat turned out on the parade ground as we had no tea- not a crumb – things looked very bad, but the S.M. promised them some so everything passed off.  I have written home for some food but don’t get any.  The cake Ma sent went in a meal.  Don’t send any tinned meat I get enough of it, Ma I could sit down and polish off the Sunday’s dinner for the whole family and then feel hungry.

It is awful in this hut, the windows have not been put in since the fire and it has rained in torrents this last 3 days.  Consequently the floor is all wet.  I could have had a pass for London this weekend but I think I will go next week if I can manage it.  I might see Will.  Has Gladys passed her exam.  I hope she dose well.  I am expecting my tin this week and will send a pc if it doesn’t come before Tuesday.  I have to buy a lot of my food.

I am sorry Gladys is not coming back to London with Uncle Will, it is not all that expensive and I should have a chance of seeing her.  Well I shall have to conclude now as a chap is going to the village so he can post this, if I miss him it will be Sunday night before there is a collection.  Have you sent for a birth certificate.  I think it would be advisable under the circumstances as everything seems satisfactory.  I will let Gladys swank me down Wellington Rd if it comes off.

Love George

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