From Private Alf. Johnson
The following is a letter from Pte. Alf Johnson who is on the firing line in Belgium, to Mr. George Wyatt.
In Belgium, Oct. 5, 15
Thanks very much for your very interesting letter which was delivered to me while in the front line of trenches, where I had quite a few pots at the Germans.
Well George, it's a great life. As long as it doesn't rain, you can enjoy yourself. But what a queer war, yourself and the enemy both hidden away along miles of sand bags, barbed wire and dugouts. Of course the artillery are the biggest trouble in the day time, and the rifle fire is kept up at night, by the use of flares, which looks just like a fire works display, but the only thing is you keep ducking your head when the bullet whistles over.
In each Company's line of trenches is a telegraph and telephone station, and we get scraps of news about what is going on in the line. We heard the Allies had made an advance and also that the Russians are doing good work.
At night time we go out for rations and water. It is some job and there is some fun attached to it. You just come out of the trenches then cross open fields, and when a flare goes up the enemy's snipers are very fond of potting away at you.
Well George, we are out of the trenches now and last night was the first time I had my boots, bayonet and ammunition off for over a week, and it was quite a rest. But the best of all came to-day. We marched away in platoons to a big bath house where we got a red hot bath, a complete change of clean underwear, shirts and socks, left our own stuff there where there are boilers which will boil them for the next lot out of the trenches.
I expect we will four or five days rest then beat it back to the trenches, then for the Jack Johnsons. I have heard it said they make a hole you could bury a horse and cart in but some burst behind our line which would bury a whole stable full.
Best wishes to all the boys. Jog their memories and tell them to write, and I will sure answer them.