Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 431
Well after the team had been picked, General Holmes came & spoke to us, & told us it was an honour to have been picked & said he was sure we would do our job well. We were all got together & went back a bit, and went in for a fortnights training. All kinds of games plenty of exercise Revolver shooting a bath evry morning and so on.
Well the day came round and we were all fit and well. I might tell you the distance between the trenches where we went across was over 400 yds. We blackened our hands and faces and looked dead characters (blood thirsty ones at that. Before the bombardment started we crawled out 300 yds & then waited. They gave them about 10 minutes with the artillery. The square head ever on the alert started the machine guns like mad & they were whizzing alround us like wild fire, but marvellous to relate no body was hit while going over. Our people had it timed & after ten minutes artillery they lifted there fire & that was the offise for us to up and over.
Gee when we up and off you should have seen the flares they sent up (I might tell you these flares are shot from a pistol & go away up in the air & then light. They are very bright and the night is just like day when they go up.) Well a few of the lads in mistake layed down, but the order was not to lie down once we started to run, so I turned my head still running and shouted them to come on which they did immediately.
But while looking round I ran into a shell hole full of water & toppled head over heals, clean over my head, It was full of mud too. I out as quick as I could & kept going & lost practically no distance.
We hopped into their trench & the fun began. Our orders were to take only 4 prisoners & settle the rest. We hooked the 4 lively & then we
cleared cleaned em up like a book maker papying out on the favourite. We were to stay there about ten minutes & clean up about 100 yds of trench. We blew up an amunition store & did a lot of destruction to there trench.
Our time was up & we off back. Well going back they whipped the shells in like hail stones. A chap with a prisoner was hit & I had to take charge of the square head. He was in front with his hands up & got plunked through the wrist by his own shells.
One of our Sergeants was killed coming back one officer & 17 others wounded. Gee they put em in We were ¾ of an hr before we could get in. I dont know how the divil the shells missed me.
A peculiar coincidence the night of the raid was the 25 June the day we left Sydney a year before Hoping you are all well, best wishes & love
Your loving son