“In a hurry to get the job over and get something to eat”
“Dear Sir, – Thought perhaps you would like to have an account of some of the Bromley Boy’s doings, and how they covered themselves with glory. We are billeted in a factory, and on Saturday morning at 6 am we had orders to pack and get ready to march to the trenches. We started out at 6.30, and had not proceeded far before we came under shell fire. We passed some German prisoners that had been captured regiment; they did not seem very happy, not so happy as our fellows, who were singing and passing jokes to the Jocks. We arrived at the trenches under shell fire and the fire of a few snipers, who took pains not to show themselves, and stopped in the trenches till we received the order to make a charge, the order we had been waiting for since enlistment last September 8th, 1914. We left the trenches with order to — and not return till we had. Well, we had not advanced a few yards when six Prussian Guards surrendered; we caught them napping, and then we shot two a little further ahead. Having advanced to the hill, some 1⅟2 miles away, we had to lay down, as the bounders had cemented trenches and had them barricaded with barbed wire all round, and all we could do was to pot away until our supports came up. We accounted for a few more, before we returned to the trenches, but we had to pay off a very old score before we left them, as the dirty bounders had shelled out transport, and that meant our regiment getting no food all the time we were in the trenches, but that made no difference to our charge; in fact we were in a hurry to get the job over, to get back to have something to eat. All the time we were making our charge they gave us a hot time; machine guns from each side of us (from woods where we could not dislodge them until the next day), also shells and gas. It was like going through hell for two hours, but it was worth it, as we did a lot of good, the chief one being that our advance caused the Germans to send —, and the fetched them from the French lines, so enabling the French to advance five miles, so the 8th West Kent 5s did some good first time of asking.
I trust the recruiting rally will be a success. I have the District Times each week, and it gets pretty dirty by the time it has been all the way round to the Bromley boys. It is worth a shilling. I lost a few mates, and two Bromley men were wounded. Well, I am having a rest now, but ready when they want me. Please remember me to all chums.
P.S, – The Germans had held these trenches for ten months, and they know every inch of them, and had made great preparations for defence.”
Printed 15th October 1915, pg3