Gerald Benham’s notes from diaries
17 September 1915 At crack of dawn Col Dumbell came to me & cancelled
We were to attack & Col & I went to reconnoitre the ground. All well & area was clearly defined. On way back to my Coy H.Q. in Holnon Wood I was badly wounded by a shell which appeared to explode very near me. By stretcher to advanced dressing station & then to Casualty Clearing Hospital at Peronne. Cleaned up there.
George Ryan’s letter home dated 17 Sept 1915
On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
17 Sept 1915
Dear M & F,
Thanks for your letter of Aug 26 but I’ve had none from May.
I had a ¼ lb of Tobacco from Mr Harvey this week. (Manager of my old office.)
We are having a lot of sport here now as the Platoons are competing for a cup. Football, cricket, hockey & running. I expect you’ll think it funny playing such games as Football & Hockey out here but taking plenty of exercise is the only way of keeping fit. I played in our Platoon’s Hockey team last Sat against No 14 Platoon. (By the way our No is 13!). The result was a draw, we had hard luck in not winning.
Enclosed are 4 photos taken by one of our chaps. One is of the church, another of a native village near here, the 3rd is the Dhobie’s bungalow & pond & the other is the Dhobie “on the job”. No doubt you’ll think it a funny method of washing clothes. He swings the article round & catches it on a piece of wood or stone & as he does so he groans or shouts each time.
When the photos have “gone the round” please put them face to face & put them in one of my books upstairs.
Well we’ve heard nothing about moving & nothing about where we are going.
Hope you are all well.
Love to all from,
Yr loving son