10th March, 1916 page 10
CORPORAL GUTTERIDGE’S LETTERS: TRIBUTE TO CAPTAIN ROSS
Last week we had two communications from Corporal Gutteridge, of Bromley, 1324, B Company, 8th Royal West Kent Regiment, whose cheery and optimistic letters are always welcome, although indeed they are but characteristic, as our readers know, of all the letters from the men at the Front.
It is only the less hard-worked civilian at home who finds time, and thinks he has cause, for grousing. One of Corporal Gutteridge’s letters, referring to the death of Captain Ross, was given at the end of our notice last week of that gallant officer.
In the other letter Corporal Gutteridge says: “We are staying in our dug-outs a short distance behind the firing line, waiting to relieve, when the order came to put equipment on and get ready to march off.”
Then he goes on to relate the incident of a shell bursting in the dug-out where several officers were having tea, one of whom was Captain Ross, of Bromley.
He goes on to say: “ Captain Ross and Lieutenant Atkinson joined the regiment in 1915, after the regiment came out of action at Loos, and both at once began working for the interests of the men. Both officers having been out here since the beginning of the war, we were fortunate to have the benefit of their early experience, and it was during Captain Ross’s last visit to the trenches that one of the boys remarked.
‘Well, this is the hottest time we have had since being out here’ (the Germans shelled our trenches for two days). We only lost three men, but this was thanks to Captain Ross, who had command of our company, and ordered us to a certain part of the trench, and thus saved a good many lives.
The boys, who always placed their full confidence in his, were quite pleased at the way he had looked after them. Another instance of his good work; a German machine gun had given us a lot of trouble. Captain Ross at once found the position and ‘phoned to the Artillery to send over a few shells.
Results: German machine gun destroyed.”
The letter left them in the very best of health and in hopes of seeing the finish of this war and also of the Germans.