Somewhere near Gironville, 5/17/1918

Dear Em.


Got your letter of April 18 O.K. Yes, Im still alive happy and well. I must say tho Em that we have two very bad enemies outside of the Hun and they are the louse and the French mosqiuto. These so call French pests are as big as any horse fly I ever did see and they sure can pester a fellow. The cootie that you hear so much about grow from a pin head to an elephant (it seems) over night. Outside of this there is very little to say only to repeat that we are still up front here enjoying the perfect (weather) that we have been so fortunate to get the last two days.


For the sake of some news Em I will say that where we are now the allies hold the upper hand in the air, for although our planes are very numerous and up all day shooting over and across the lines, the Boshe never come over for any trouble. A crowd of us were talking the other day and although there were five Allied planes right over our heads we paid no attention until we heard a whirr ssssssss pud. Of coarse we all ducked (as tho we had a chance if it was near us). I won’t say anything about the chance but I will say that it was a German dud. It was just one of the many shrapnel shells that old Fritz was trying to stop our planes with that failed to explode and it dropped just inside our lines.


Ran across a Draft fellow who was maning an automatic rifle in an advanced post. He has only been in France two months which proves your statement that they will give a good account of themselves. Will give Mr Bishop’s regards to Bill when I see him. He is in another post of the line.


Please excuse this letter and writing but it is the best I can do.


Love to all



Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf, A.E.F.


P.S. You see I write every chance I can get. This letter looks it, what? The weather is great, so is the noise at times.



© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Readers:
    Here Sam reveals the random nature of the war in an off-handed way so as not to alarm his family. The German dud he speaks of landed only a few feet away, hence “I won’t say anything about the chance.” Had the shell not been a dud, this letter and all that follow never would have been written.


  2. Your mention of the dud reminded me of an “Old Bill” drawing in one of Bruce Bairnsfather’s “Fragments from France”, do you get anything like that out where you are?
    Anyway, there was Old Bill sat watching a youngster nervously defusing a dud and saying something along the lines of “Give it a good ‘ard ‘un. You can usually ‘ear ’em tickin’ if they’s going to go off”

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