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Date: April 27th 1917
Dear Ones All

27th April, 1917.

Dear Ones All,

When my little ones say to me ten years from now- "What did you do in the great war Daddy?" I’ll be able to say  "I slept one night in an old German dug-out within a few hundred yards of the front line trenches when there was a "strafe" on, with a battery of 6 inch "how.s" within fifty yards and another battery of nine-point two’s within a hundred yards, and my own personal impression of the whole affair was that it resembled about fifty thunderstorms at once with a little bit of hell thrown in.

All this happened last night. Another pilot named Exley from our squadron, and I were sent up to spend 24 hours with one of our Archie batteries to watch them at work shooting at Hun machines, and get all the pointers we could. It was rather interesting too. I didn’t enjoy the night much though for there happened to be a "hate" scheduled for 9.30, some sort of an attack or counter-attack or something, and those big guns kept thundering away all night long. Of course, at our own aerodrome we hear the guns constantly night and day, but we aren’t used to having them almost at our bedside. That and the cold damp dug-out both contributed to a very miserable night, and I was mighty glad when our tender arrived for us at ten o’clock this morning. Got some more bon souvenirs out of some deserted German trenches. There were heaps of things there and it was only a case of picking out the things that were easiest to take away. Found hundreds of bandoliers of German ammunition, also gas helmets, shell fragments, shrapnel bullets, and scraps of accoutrement. I found in a shell hole a postcard evidently sent to a German soldier, and I am sending it to you herewith. Perhaps you may be able to find somebody who can make it out and translate it.

Molly is getting along finely at the R.F.C. Hospital in Bryanston Square. She has been accepted by the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Society however (I never can be sure of that name but I think that is it) and will be leaving Bryanston Square very soon now. She has no idea whether she will be left in London or sent elsewhere. Needless to say I am anxious to know for with luck I’ll be on leave in two months. Poor wee Molly, she is so plucky and uncomplaining and bright through it all.

Heaps of love to each one of you.

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