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Date: April 10th 1917
William Smallacombe

Thelus France
Apr 10/17

Dear Father :-

Yesterday at 7:35 A.M. (EASTER MONDAY) I “Went Over” and as it was my first time to go over the parapet I naturally felt a little nervous but although shells were dropping all around me I was not hit and as it happened I did not feel the least bit afraid.

I was awake all the night of Easter Day and that next morning at 5:30 the barrage started and the Infantry gained the second objective at 7:20 A.M. when I took up my Machine Guns.  I got up to the Red Objective and all the casualties I had was one Corporal killed and one Sergeant  and three men wounded out of 28 including myself.

This was nothing like the Somme but just the same there are poor beggars lying around here whose soldiering days are over.

Later at 10:30 A.M. we advanced again and I was in position by 12:00 noon and am still in the same place.

The Tanks came over and they went almost as fast as we did on account of the heavy loads we had to carry.

In all we advanced from Neuville St. V east to Thelus and it remains to be seen if we hold it or not.

The shells are dropping outside here now and not long ago I was outside and four men near me were all cut up.

I have bound up some men lately and what little I did know of bandaging has stood me in good stead.

I can just look over the ridge to the left here in one direction and see Vimy in the Valley and ahead I can see Farbus and Willerval and you can look this up on a map.

In the Dug Out I captured which was an old dressing station I have found German maps, a German cigarette case, belt, bayonet, watches and food so we think we are well off for souvenirs.  I also have a waterproof sheet & waterbottle and will get some of these home.

I answered all of the letters I received before I went over the parapet and so have no news to tell you outside of the attack.

I have been feeling fine lately and hoping that I do not get sick as I would miss the fighting here.

Well I will close for this time and hope that I will come through this show.

Your loving son

W Smallacombe

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