[Letter from John Butler's cousin Charles Bean to John Butler's mother Amy]
May 28 1915
Dear Aunt Amy
I saw John yesterday. I was curiously enough just going up to see him that same afternoon. I heard his regiment had some sharp work to do the other day – but it wasnt his squadron that had been engaged in it. He has got put on to signal work – the telephone & telegraph work for his regiment & so was able to get down to the beach & came up to see me. He was looking very well, & told me he was living well & was pretty comfortable. He was short of socks but I had a surplus luckily & was able to let him have some. He has seen a fair amount of fighting – the place where they put his regiment at first was a very ticklish corner – where the enemy's trenches were quite close & they had to get bombs thrown at them. One bomb wounded a sergeant who was next him. On another occasion Jack and another man were put into a trench which actually joined our trench with a Turkish one, & had to keep watch on the Turkish section of it from behind some sandbags which divided the two.
I suppose the Turks (if they were in it then) were not more than 3 yards away.
John showed me a photo of Nancy & some of Joan & Claud & Vida Edwards. I suppose Joan will be quite changed by the time we get back.
I will try & keep an eye on Jack – I go up that way occasionally & he comes down to the beach (now that he is out of the firing line & on the telephone) for a bathe sometimes. Tell Joan we have our beach too, but no breakers – we dont want breakers either – might damage our biscuits & get salt water in the jam.
Love to Nancy & Joan & Claud & to yourself.