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[Page 427]


Dear Mother & Father,
I am writing from hospital in France I have been here eight days. it is a hospital at a place called Etarps, a few miles from Boulogne. They have not taken the piece of shell out yet I am going on to England either today or tomorrow, to have the operation It caught me in the thigh this time. It is nothing serious, so dont worry, I will have a good spell in England. I was unlucky to get hit as we were being relieved in another eight hrs.
We had been eleven days and nights up in the trenches. We were in the great advance of the Somme. We were at a place called Pozieres near Contalmaison. We had to take the ridge (that is the second division) at all costs. We had one go and got knocked to pieces but our second attempt was successful, and we flew in although we were very weak.
There are only about four officers outside of Mackenzie & Norrie left We now have S A Middleton as company commander & he is the only one left Poor old Captain Heritage was killed, & a gamer man was never born. There was never a battalion kept in over six days & nights, only the old 19th They have the great name for digging under fire. Never a budge in them, although they are going down like nine pins. All the Australian divisions have to have a cut up there, and we come out very short.

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