[The original of this nine-page letter, spread over five images, has two pages to an image after page 1. The images don't present the pages in chronological order. Transcribed in the order in which it should be read; some line breaks introduced to aid readability. See original for details.]
Aug. 18th. 1918
Dear George & Jennie
Your letter to hand also parcel of Lollies. you will see by the papers that we have all been doing hard fighting. we had had a lively day & had just finished bombarding Fritz for four hours & the ammunition waggon had just arrived & they gave me the parcel so five of us had a fill.
Well we put Fritz back about 17 miles on our front we were in the centre supported by Tommies on one side & Canadians the other we could have gone further but had to wait for our flanks but Fritz went for his life He only put up a fight on the ridges & we had mostly flat country to go over. We soon got out of range & would shift up to
1.000 yards & go again it was all open work in the middle of the field & no cover ove[r] shell holes. any how we got through with very few causalties
We came out of the line to day & are haveing a couple of days spell & going to another part where Fritz is holding them up. The Ausies captured 4.000 prisoners & over 100 guns and left plenty of dead I got a few German buttons & the shoulder straps & a couple of pieces of a German plane He came a beauty.
I saw dozens come down during the Stunt but one of our Camel planes brought down two Fritzs in about ten minutes. The first one you could hear the machine guns & all the heads popped up from the reserve trenches & all about were looking up & then Fritz burst into flames and the boys gave
a cheer the pilot jumped out to save getting burnt to death but was dead before He reached the ground then the second fight & a good go & clever flying then Fritz came down in flames & I am sure Fritz must have heard the cheering I only saw four of ours come down.
The Boys go through the Fritz prisoners for Souveniers when they come down from the line.
The best sight I saw was The Cavalry & Infantry take a wooded ridge full of guns & machine guns & they we supported by our Tanks which done good work they are a lot faster than the old ones & nothing seems to stop them the barb wire it goes through it as if it was not there. We watched them take hill from a little distance off and it was a sight one will never for get then on
another afternoon we went up & had to blow some machine gun positions & we completed the Job in a very short time Fritz must have been taken unawares we captured a field hospital & staff also a german head quarters & staff
they have fine dugouts about 30 ft under the ground & have the best of every thing there was plenty of drinks & the Boys soon got rid of it. Some of the wounded are only boys about seventeen the common soldiers have stinking dug outs you cannot go in them one batch of prisoners were almost in rags & were very tired they put up no fight
our artillery killed a good few as the could not get through barage & some of the guns had there crews killed all the guns the fired till the last minute then they
were flanked off & our Boys did not spare the bayonet.
at one place we captured a big dump with thousands of pounds of material also a hospital train & ammunition train full & a railway connection also a light railway & no doubt Fritz has his head on the right way He had got all the guttering & spouting & galvanised iron off all the roofs of the houses & all cast iron railing & all sorts of material in heaps.
Then in another shed were all the bronze figures out of churches & houses & Tools of every sort so I got a new kit out of them before they had time to put the guard over the dump.
The Fritz planes play a good stunt of a night with bombs & all the cover we had was to dig a hole about two feet deep to hold
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you and material was scarce. He had cut all the crops that was on the ground. & left nothing about. all his shells were in dugout under the ground.
We only had one day of gas but only had the masks on for a couple of hours. He has been fireing incenary shell & then watches for a gun that is fireing & drops bombs on them & He plays a good stick He likes to find the horse lines as one bomb is likely to kill 20 horses & each plane carries about a dozen you can always tell his machines from ours
The weather has been fine lately but when we first went in we had mud over tops of our boots.
The traffic is wonderfull with artillery. transports. ambulances. cooks carts water carts & infantry in thousands you just
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wonder at the organisation then the balloons have to follow us up. & the A.S.C for food & fodder for horses & field dressing stations have to come along to. so you can guess what a traffic there is.
The Fritz carry down all their own wounded when they are taken prisoners. & sometimes our own.
I have put in a slip of paper & it shows where we were fighting & the next push will be in another part.
The people are beginning to come back to Amiens now since we pushed Fritz back He has not knocked it about to much but the towns we have just gone through are mostly on the ground what with Him shelling us out a few months ago & us doing the same to get rid of him
The dead Fritzs & horses are beginning to smell very high
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now & some of the other bodies have been left from the retreat & only skeletons remains.
I was very tired the first stage looking after the guns & helping dig in a bit then help with ammunition & practilly no sleep at all for 3 days & nights & plenty shooting day & night & following up as soon as we got out of range.
We are camped near a cannal for a couple of days I have just had a swim so thought I would drop a few lines & thank you for your parcel and we enjoyed them very much you cannot buy a lollie of any sort here a chocolate now & again & some times you have to go for weeks as soap is very scarce at times I have done a bit of washing to day you have to change as often as you
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can to keep the chats down but I have been fairly free from them but these French Billets & Barns are lousy but they keep you mind in occupation when you are a bit lonely.
I am glad the Pansies were good also that your garden is looking O.K
Well George I will have to ring off I would be able to tell you more so it will have to keep. Enclosed is a shoulder strap off a dead Fritz.
So I will say good Bye for now & thanking you
one both once again & hopeing you are well as this leaves me.
With best wishes