Letters from the Great War – “We had something doing the past ten days”

Somewhere in Egypt/Middle East – August 6th, 1916 – (Letter #18) 

Dear Brother;

Your most welcome letter received. Glad to hear you are all well, as this leaves me at present. I got that letter back that I had written to you. The censor got them mixed up. Mine went to England and my address was written on it, so I got it back and the letter is in my kit bag. I don’t know where that is at present so can’t send you the address this time, but will try and do later on.

Well, Jack, we had something doing the past ten days, but we are back to the base now. We gave Jonnie Turk a run for his money and believe me they can run, too. We all came out of it lucky, but it was a hard march across the desert after them, as it is awful hot here. I have not been in a town since I landed here, as I would like to send you all a souvenir, but I can’t get nothing and this is the last sheet of writing paper. Well, I can tell you they are a hot lot of prisoners that was taken in this time. They are in rags. I have not seen any with shoes on yet. It is the case, I guess, where they have to fight, as they got German officers – it is do or die with them. They are damn glad to be taken.

I wish I had my way. I would not take a German prisoner on my life. They are getting their own medicine back now. I would hate to be in their shoes. The Canadians are doing good work I hear, but they are all doing the same. We are not being overfed here, but it is pretty hard to get it where we are at present. I don’t think you would know me at present as I am so thin. But I feel fine, never felt any better in my life. Will get my photo taken if I ever get to a place and send you one.

Remember me to Sam, Flo and kids. That is right. Kill Albert MacKinnon if you can’t make a Britisher out of him. Is he ashamed of the flag he was born under? I would like to talk to him for five minutes.

My address is 3949 Private Lee G. Darrach, #3 Section, M.G.C. #125 Brigade, E.E. Force, ℅ G.P.O. London. The old address goes to the Battalion and they might lay there for months now. I hope to hear from you often. Give my love and best regards to all, Mary and Ted, not forgetting yourself and B.

From your brother, Lee

P.S. Give my address to Eldon, as I would like to hear from him.