Ross, James Wells

Letter
Date:
April 13, 1915
April 13th, 1915.

Here we are having a rest after the strenuous battle of Neuve Chapelle. I suppose you read all about it in the papers as we have been doing. The things we are credited with having done are simply ridiculous. In fact we did'nt know until afterwards that there was a battle on.

The five of us are here sleeping on the kitchen floor. One each side of the stove, one each side of the table, and the Major in the pantry so to speak. Today we have been kicking around a football that Aunt Hattie sent for me, and the men have a game on with the Ammunition Column at 2.30. The poor old motor bike had a puncture and then a blow out I have succeeded in getting a new cover and inner tube and she has descended from the G.S. wagon (general service) to her own tires again. We also picked up a cart which we call the battery drag. It is a three wheeler dump cart drawn by one horse which we call the elephant, and is used to haul the officers baggage, and mess basket. The cart looks like this. I shall have to draw it as I had to send my camera back to Scotland.

Elliot has just censored this picture for me and entirely approves.

Yesterday was a peach of a day. We all lay outside in the warm sun after lunch and it did'nt seem like war at all. Today is the day before Easter and I expect we will have a service in the morning. It is just regular Easter weather but I think the crops are farther ahead here than they would be at home. The fields are just beginning to be covered with the young green wheat but many are still quite bare.

My nags are in fine shape now. Bob's coat is coming out in handfuls and I think another week will see him a new horse. Captain's coat will be almost golden in colour. Our billet is fine and the horses are all out in the field next door and all the men are in excellent spirits We are well fed and clothed and have no complaints whatever. In fact most of the men are more comfortable at present than they have been for some time, and some more comfortable than their own homes could make them. However, we never know when we will be wanted to do something so there is just that little element of chance about the whole thing. We can take up or leave a position as well if not better than most batteries.

Imagine a column of horses and vehicles moving along a road. They turn into a field over a rough ditch without a word; the guns are dropped and the teams go out, form up and move away. The gunners then start digging and filling sand bags for the rest of the night. We have a hot supper of "Machonacie" rations, tea and biscuits (perhaps rum, if cold,) at about 11.30 and start digging again. Meanwhile the teams go back, unharness, feed after watering and we all turn in.

We are all in good health and spirits, but there is not a man who would not like to get home again soon. But come what may, war for one month or war for years, we are "on the job" to see it through.

I'm going down to the football game with Ell and will finish later.

Later - after supper.

We won 2-0. It was "Soccer" and the men all enjoyed it very much. Since then we fed the horses, had some revolver practice, and then supper.
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