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Date: September 24th 1916
Mother - (Jane Dawson)
Coningsby Dawson

Sunday, September 24th, 1916.

Dearest Mother:

Your locket has just reached me, and I have strung it round my neck with M.'s cross. Was it M.'s cross the other night that accounted for my luck? I was in a gun-pit when a shell landed, killing a man only a foot away from me and wounding three others—I and the sergeant were the only two to get out all right. Men who have been out here some time have a dozen stories of similar near squeaks. And talking of squeaks, it was a mouse that saved one man. It kept him awake to such an extent that he determined to move to another place. Just as he got outside the dug-out a shell fell on the roof.

You'll be pleased to know that we have a ripping chaplain or Padre, as they call chaplains, with us. He plays the game, and I've struck up a great friendship with him. We discuss literature and religion when we're feeling a bit fed up. We talk at home of our faith being tested—one begins to ask strange questions here when he sees what men are allowed by the Almighty to do to one another, and so it's a fine thing to be in constant touch with a great-hearted chap who can risk his life daily to speak of the life hereafter to dying Tommies.

I wish I could tell you of my doings, but it's strictly against orders. You may read in the papers of actions in which I've taken part and never know that I was there.

We live for the most part on tinned stuff, but our appetites make anything taste palatable. Living and sleeping in the open air keeps one ravenous. And one learns to sleep the sleep of the just despite the roaring of the guns.

God bless you each one and give us peaceful hearts.

Yours ever.

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