10th April 1915
My dear Mother and Father
Thanks very much for your letters I got them two or three days ago. I was just going into the trenches so as they were beastly wet for a couple of days I hadn’t very much time for writing, in fact I used all my spare time in sleeping. I believe we are being relieved tomorrow so I get back for another few days.
Thanks very much for my watch I got it quite safely. The skin socks have come in jolly useful as I’m back to trench life again for a while. I fairly laughed at some of the other subs when they saw them. They all wished that they had had a pair.
Nancy seems to be in luck if she gets that post. By the by I’ve got my disc so you can rest easy.
I can’t find a Scotch Chaplain as nearly all the troops here are English and have English Chaplains. There is a Scotch Regiment beside us but I can’t get near them as they are usually in the trenches when we are out. I’m pleased to hear that Father is going to Glenfarg. It always does him good. I suppose you will let Louis do some fishing. Daisy ought to be able to teach him. I don’t think inoculation bothered me half as much as it did Jimmy. I still have ½ of the flask full of brandy so I won’t need any sent out for a while. Will you send me out a tin of cocoa or coffee in each parcel as we get tea only for rations. We buy French stuff but it isn’t up to much. Just as small tin of either will do nicely. I think pepermint sweets are jolly good as they keep the heat in your body on a cold night while on duty. The small extra strong ones are very nice. The rest of the parcels are very nice, just the sort of thing we want. The rations make up the plain things while the parcels and what we buy make up the luxuries. I had quite an exciting time of it last night. The Germans started poping some shells over our trenches because our Machine Guns opened fire. Well they fired 8 shots while I was off duty and then were quiet for about 4 hours and just at the end of my 4 hours duty they set fly again. The last shot landed right on the top of the parapet and burst. I just happened to be walking down the trench and I heard it coming so I ducked. The result was that it landed about 10 feet away from me and sent sandbags flying in all directions. Half a sandbag hut me between my shoulders and of course knocked me spinning but didn’t hurt me. I was absolutely covered in brick dust.
I’m holding the book in my hand so you will need to excuse the writing.
Things are quiet about here just now. Now I’ll need to stop. Hoping you all are well again. lots of love and kisses from your loving son, Hew
The next letter from Hew will be posted on 28th April…