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1916: Used to seeing things blown up

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Private G Sydenham, Royal Sussex Regiment, one of the Mid Sussex Staff at the office at the Front, writing to the office last week, said 'I am out from the trenches for four days' rest We had rather a warm time of it while in the tranches, and lost several men. I an sorry to add that the two chums I made I made since joining up were among the number. I should like to run op against Johnny Wynter, of Cuckfield. I expect I have been pretty close to him and not have known it.

A few weeks ago I ran up against a chap who need to be a constable at Haywards Heath - F. Head - by name. He told me he had come across several Haywards Heath chaps. I suppose the town is getting very scarce of young fellows now.

What a time we will have when me come home again! As I write the Germans are shelling a battery close to our billet, and one or two shells are coming uncomfortably near. We have to be ready to clear out at any minute. We never know when a shell may come right on top of our happy little home! But still, we don't worry, for we are getting quite used to seeing things blown up. Our only hope is that we do not a blighty one ourselves!

We get looked after very well as regards food while in the trenches, thanks to the fellows who bring it up. Their's is a dangerous job. The Germans seem to know when they are coming, and send them over a pill. Personally I'm feeling 'in the pink', and I send my kind regards to all the old friends, I left behind me, and trust that they also are 'in the pink'.

Mid Sussex Times, 2 May 1916

Image: Wikimedia public domain image. A composite photograph taken during World War I by Frank Hurley that incorporated two separate images for dramatic effect

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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