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Date: January 3rd 1917
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Watson

Wednesday, 3 January, ’17.

My dearest Lal: —

Yesterday, I was working just in front of one of our batteries, helping build a railroad track. Our batteries were giving Fritz no rest, all along the line. At dusk, you could see the flashes from many guns too far away to hear the report. Not a single shot did Fritz push over in return; in fact, it’s hard to imagine that there are German lines “over there.” In the morning we had to squat down and keep still for a while, as two Fritz planes were up. But they didn’t come far. In addition to a barrage put up by our anti-aircraft guns, more with — or at least much with — the idea of heading him as bringing him down, were a number of our planes quite ready for him, if he came too far. It must all be very discouraging for poor Fritz; but the worst is yet to come no doubt, in the grand finale. Everything is going.

I was rather amused (forgive me) at your idea of my possibly getting “cut out”, over the top, and about the ration “sewn up in your coat.”

My dear, a Battn. doesn’t go over the top once to a blue moon; moreover, going over, the worst thing you suffer in a trench — holding a crater for instance, is far worse. And you don’t have anything sewn in your coat. I don’t worry a bit about my teeth; but I do about my eyes, which are getting very poor indeed, especially at night. . . .

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