F. Hammond letter 10 June 1917


Dear F & M

Just a line to let you know I am still jogging along OK.  I suppose Par makes a dive for the morning paper as eagerly as ever.  What do they think about the news lately?  Fancy we have practically shoved Johnny off a front which he had been preparing for over two years.  Yes and some of the positions he held he thought practically impregnable & even our boys when they looked round and see the ground which has been taken from the Boche really wonder how we got it.  The weather has been very fine this last month or so.  I built myself and another fellow a nice little dugout the other day and named it Sky View as the sky is practically the only thing observable from the door which we have to crawl into but it’s really very nice when you get in as it is high enough to sit up in bed as you call it without bumping your head.  We have made a nice garden seat out of the bank and covered it over with branches.  ** we sit & smoke and read in our leisure time nicely shaded from the fierce sun rays.  In fact it’s just a simple life.  We use an old shrapnel helmet to wash in fixed nicely between a few sandbags bunched together which makes a fine washing stand.  I was sitting under the arbour the other afternoon nice and cosy when one of the boys said Harry Lauder is going to give a us a song.  I said what are we going to have a gramophone going.  Oh no real Harry Lauder has paid us a visit & is going to give us a turn.  Fortunately Harry chose a place opposite to my “arbour” & the boys gathered round.  He said “Now boys give me the wire if a shell’s coming” at which we all laughed heartily.  So off Harry started & gave us Roaming in the Gloaming all of us joining in the chorus after hearty applause he started off with “When the boys have fought & won” which he sang in London in “Three Cheers”.  He had barely got to the last line when Johnny took it into his head to give him the bird I don’t know whether Harry’s ever had egg shells thrown at him but I think it’s the first time he’s any Boche shells flung at him whilst singing and as things were getting rather warm the little affair had to be broken up.  Yes it was funny to see Harry squeezing himself up against the bank.  Still when it died now he gave us the other verse.  We gave him some pieces of the shells for souvenirs. & he afterwards went away to try his luck elsewhere with a shrapnel helmet on.  So I think we got the Laugh of him under quite different conditions than when one usually sees him.  I haven’t written to Geo yet but I must do very soon.  I think we are making Johnny rather nervous nowadays & if he sees the U boat business is No Bon I think he will soon be giving even Hindenburg the Bird which I hope won’t be very long.  Well I think this is all this time if you send me anything out send me some HARRISONS POMADE.  Could do with a pair of those folding scissors as I have lost my old pair.  Well cheerho for present.  Hoping you are all going strong I am in the pink.  Any signs of any potatoes yet?  Yrs Burgus.


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