August 19, 1918
[written from the General Australian Hospital in Amiens, France]
I once more am writing a few lines to let you know how I am.
It is already nine days since I was wounded by a machine gun.
I was hit by a bullet in my left hip and by another in my forehead - the bullet went through my left eyebrow and through my steel helmet.
That steel helmet saved my life.
If that bullet had hit me only a head-of-a-pin lower I would have been killed instantly.
My wounds are not healed yet but are getting better every day.
The worst is that I sit here without a penny.
I had 3 Francs in my pocket when I came from the trenches.
But you know, Mother, I am in the healthiest period of my life and I have a good appetite. When I have money I buy something to eat if I can get it.
And you know, Mother, here in the hospital we do not get paid - not until we get sent back to the base, and it will be eight more days before I get back to the base, that is to say when I will be well again. There they will keep me for one month and then we will be sent back to the front.
About letters, Mother, when you write, please write to my usual/regular address, they will send the letters after me and I shall receive them sooner or later.
And you know, Mother, I have a new German revolver and a nice expensive compass which I took from a German officer on the 3rd of August.
I never told you, Mother, but about 3 weeks ago I filed papers for a commission to become an officer. When accepted, we will have to go to England for three months to do our studies. I would be to become a translator. But since I am wounded now, I think they will forget about it.
Well, Mother, I do not get any news from anyone, and I do not know of any other special news. So, I end my letter and hope to have a speedy reply.
My best regards to the whole family.
From your son.
J. De Cruyenaere