Here is Sunday once again, the third Sunday we have spent at the Dardanelles but there is no holiday attached to it, they are even now shelling us and it is only about ten in the morning
(twelve am) Since writing the foregoing our papers arrived which should have come a few days ago, two Table Talks, one Spec, one Argus and Ernie has been in for a yarn. The mail arrived last Thursday, there were twenty four letters for the band, I got twelve of them, pretty good going, isn't it. Also two more yesterday and two parcels, one from Amy and one that at first looked as if the address was written by you, but as Miss Woodfield wrote and said she was sending a parcel I suppose it was hers. She did not mention the contents but they were one pair of socks and a face cloth and small bag and I have written and thanked her for them but it wasn't her handwriting.
Amy was kind enough to send me a parcel too, just the very things a chap wants, socks, toothbrush, Borasic acid, soap and a pencil. I will write today and thank her, it was very good of her. Mrs. Ward also wrote to me from W.A. I will answer all I can but cannot promise everybody.
I am glad the Juniors Social went off okay. Olive wrote and said she supposed it was nice because you were sick on Sunday, rather a doubtful supposition. I am sorry you were sick though and hope you haven't had any more nice times with such disastrous endings.
I haven't seen Dorey Newing since we took up our positions here. He is at part called Lone Pine on our right. I haven't even seen Ralph for a few days his company is away to our left but I must find time to look him up. I shall pass the Table Talks on to him.
Australia Day seemed to have been a great success and St.Kilda did well. 1,300 pounds is splendid.
You will all be home from Church by now. I see by the plan that Rev. Catherall was preaching. How I would love to be back once more away from this business.
We are still having it quiet at our part of the line and the shelling is all we have to put up with, but although it is nothing very terrible, yet it is quite bad enough.
Yesterday we had the worst peppering since we have been here and for a while we thought that we were going to be attacked. But it was the Turks turn to give us a Demonstration which they did in great style. We gave them a bit of a fright the other night so they paid us back. We had four chaps killed and nine wounded.
This trench style of 'warfare” is terribly monotonous, you just have to stay between the six foot walls all day long and sneak into you burrow when the shells whizz around.
Just behind us, on a rise is our own Battery, and on a rise opposite is a Turkish Battery, and when these two start banging away at each other the noise is deafening and the shells make a loud whizz as the fly overhead.
Some of the fellows have marvellous escapes, one chap yesterday had his haversack torn off (the small one at the side) and he never got a scratch. Another fellow I was talking to last night had a bullet bob through the peak of his cap.
Its sudden death to show your head for a fraction of a second in daylight. I've read soldiers letters in some of the papers and they have said that the Turks cannot shoot for nuts, but I bet anyone of them would not be game to keep his head above the parapet for two seconds.
The war ships are banging away they never stop, day or night, they send up their little whispers of love. I would not be a Turk for anything for there is nothing more demoralising to be shelled. But I guess you get enough war in the papers everyday without me holding forth.
I can hear the hum of an aeroplane, we them over us nearly all of the time, they see what doing and get the range for the guns.
I counted sixteen puffs of smoke around one the other day, showing where sixteen shrapnel shells had burst, and still he sailed serenely on.
There seems to be more British than German aeroplanes here. We seldom have the enemy over us although sometimes they are buzzing around.
Last Wednesday we had one, and he dropped a bomb on our Battery and I believe he severely damaged a dummy gun but the Turks are not our worst enemy here, we have also the Gallipoli fly and the Gallipoli flea. “The fly buzzeth by day, and the flea nippeth by night”, first revolutions 2 chap 84 verse. As soon as a chap lays down to get a few hours rest they begin, and if we don't wiggle and squirm they bite pieces out of us until we do and the flies are as tame as can be. They will come right up to me and stay there until killed. I've got a piece of black mosquito netting over my head now, which I took off a poisonous gas respirator ( I couldn't spell ackslickabriater) but I have got to take it off every minute to get the flies out.
I feel like a new man, for last Friday I had a shave, cleaned my teeth and washed.
Since when I couldn't help laughing when you told me about the pudding and the cup and saucer business, it was funny – still mistakes will happen.
Ernie has come up and is now writing also, I think it is to you, he's brought his own rations with him so he has invited himself to tea, bully beef and biscuits, what oh? I'm going to make him some porridge out of crushed biscuits and use jam for sugar. You just ought to see some of our efforts in the cooking line, fearfully and wonderfully made.
It makes my heart bleed when I think of all date scones and apple tarts I have left behind. I close now with love to all.