Another Letter from Herbert Durand
The following letter has been received by Mrs. Durand, New Liskeard, from her son Herbert, written from the trenches:
Somewhere in France,
June 20, 1915.
It is just one month and eleven days since I received a letter from you, and that was just before I left England. Since then this will be the fifth I have written you.
The last time I wrote you I was in the trenches. Since then we were out for a rest, and then in again, and we are now out for another rest, and believe me, I have been in some pretty tight corners.
In an attack that we made on the Germans, out of 33 in our platoon there were only 11 left, and there were only 320 left out of our Battalion of 800. When we made the attack the bullets were so thick that I though that it was sure death for me. The three fellows who went ahead of me were killed as soon as they got over, and I had to crawl over them, and wherever I looked some one was falling. It sure was fierce. So many of our officers were killed that there was no one to lead us, so we all just laid in the grass till dark, and then came back. We crawled up close to their trenches as we could without being seen and threw our bombs in, and shot any German who stuck his head out. When it got dark enough I got up and ran, and just then they threw up a flashlight and about 200 bullets whizzed by me. I thought I was the luckiest man on earth to get back alive. A little fellow who used to wait on table with me was carrying bombs, and a piece of shrapnel hit one of the bombs, causing it to explode, and he was blown to pieces.
I was looking over a dead man to find out who he was, and I found a letter addressed to me from England. Some one had given it to him to give to me, but he did not get the chance.
I am in the best of health, and can stand these hardships fine, but there are many taken sick every day. I have not slept inside a house or on a mattrass for a month, but the weather is fine.
The last place we were in the trenches were right in town, and it was all blown to pieces. There was not a building that was not shattered. This will be all for now, hoping to get a letter from you soon. Remember me to all.
Your loving son, HERB.