Letters from the Great War – “I do the firing until they get me”
Church Town – October 31st, 1915 – (Letter #6)
My Dear Brother;
Just a few lines to let you know I am well. Hoping this will find you all the same. Well, Jack, they sent me here last week. They pulled me out of the ranks and put me on the machine gun section, so I am here on a special course. We have got to get through it in six weeks, but it ought to be six months. We call it the suicide club. You know what they are, Jack. We are the first in advance and then cover retreat. They are awful short of machine gun men, as they kill them off so fast. I tried to get out of it but I could not. Well, I don’t care. I like the gun alright. It will fire 600 rounds a minute. That ought to get a few Turks. I am number one on the gun. I do the firing until they get me and then number two takes my place. There are six of us to a gun. It weighs 68 lbs. with water in it and the tripod weighs 48 lbs. I carried the gun five miles yesterday. They give you some hard marches with it on your back.
Did you send the watch? If you do, don’t send it in papers, send it parcel post. I had a letter from mother yesterday and Fulford sent me a dollar, so I nearly killed myself eating. I certainly did have a good feed. Send my letters to the same address as I will get them alright. I will be back there when I finish here. Give my love to all and a kiss for Mary and Ted. Give my love and best regards to B and all, not forgetting yourself.
Church Town is just outside Southport, England.