20th July 1917, page 5
A TRENCH VIEW OF AIR RAIDS AND REPRISALS
Sergeant J Gutteridge, of Bromley, was never a pessimist, as our readers have had a number of occasions to know – the men give a lead in cheerfulness and solid confidence which could well be followed by a great many at home – and his view on the subject of air raids and reprisals which is occupying so much civilian attention is worth reading. We are sorry he is wounded, and glad it is only slightly. We hope he will return Frits’s complement at first opportunity.
“Dear Sir:- A few lines to let you know I am all merry and bright.
Had rather a set-back these last few days. Was due for leave on the 5th last., and was going into the trenches before the regiment was due out for a rest, when Frits sent over a shell, with my name on, the first time for two years, which exploded, causing a few pieces to get into my thigh, which has placed me on the sick list for a week of two.
I hope to be back with the regiment shortly, but it has put paid to my leave for a time.
I had the pleasure of meeting Private J Brooman, of Shortlands, to-day; pleased to say he is all merry and bright. Sergeant Moon of Bromley South, is also in the very best of health. The only complaint here is ‘Why do they not bomb Berlin?’ The French can get into Germany – why is it the English cannot get there?
Let them get on with the air raids on Berlin, stop this soft-soap business, clear England of those Pro-Germans who are trying to stop reprisals – those who are trying to hide reprisals under a cloak of religion.
This is no Christian war. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, life for a life. Tommy has to enter Frits’s trenches for reprisals, why not our airmen? I am sure there are hundreds who would give anything to have a trip into Berlin with a few bombs, but cannot go.
I must finish this letter off, or else I would be writing the feelings and thoughts of every Tommy that is out here, and I am afraid you would not publish same.
I must close and remain,