Letter to Will from F Hammond 24 Jul 15

62210 RE

9th Sig Co

HQ 28th Bde

24 7 15


Dear Will

Just a line to let you know I am OK.  I recd your letter the other day alright.  We are in our rest billets now after our first experience in the trenches.  I am pleased to say there were no casualties in our Section altho one fellow had a lucky escape from a shrapnel bullet which struck his pliers and penetrated thro a quarter of an inch of leather finally finishing up in his pocket.  Two more of them had a shell on the top of their dugout but were successfully dug out.  There was plenty of shells and a village was laid to the ground by the Huns.  There were no bayonet charges but it took the Commanders all their time to keep the Scotties in the trenches at times.  There is an old German trench which the Canadians took some time ago full of German dead but it doesn’t half hum.  Sorry I can’t give you our position but we expect to have it pretty hot as we are further advanced than any other portion of the English Line & when the Huns have finished with Russia if they manage to we expect they will try to avenge our advance here.

The Germans have plenty of spies out and they are a clever lot in that respect.  They dress up as officers etc.  There is one round here & it is said the man who catches him will have a 100 fr & a fortnight in England.  I only wish your humble could only meet him.  I suppose Geo will get his Com OK.  I think the conditions the Col referred to is only in peace times altho I suppose they try to keep up to the same style.  Anyway I hope it comes off altho from what I have seen of Comns in the Infy it is no sinecure & a man deserves to be at least kept by the army for what he has to do.  Altho we are in rest billets we don’t get much freedom & as a matter of fact I would much prefer to be where we have left.  It is supposed Sgt O’Leary won the VC in the trenches where we were.  Well I think this is all at present OM.  Hoping to see you at Xmas 11 11  Fred.

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