Mom, I’ve been billeted in the trenches on the western front, outside Belgium, with rest of my platoon. We we’re moved in to reinforce another company that was almost wiped out by the Jerry’s poison gas, and do they give us gas masks? No they tell us to hold a wet cloth to our face but we don’t have water to spare, so what are going to do, use our own urine? At least I’ve been pulled of the work detail, no more fighting the trench rats to move the bodies of our comrades which the docs say we have to so we don’t spread disease. Instead I’ve been put on the parapet as a sniper protecting part of our communication wire that goes through a part of no man’s land. I really miss your home cooking, all they give us here is bully beef and a cup of water but I don’t think I’m going to be tasting your mashed potatoes and gravy any time soon, they’ve cancelled home leave for us again, apparently HQ thinks this sector is really important because we’ve been ordered to hold it no matter the cost. Tell Brian I love him and tell him to pay attention in school and not to spend all his time lollygagging. Hopefully we’ll be ordered to stand down soon, if we can get just a couple hours in the baths and away from these bloody lice, it’ll be like heaven. It’s started again, the artillery, it’s like were in a storm without the rain just constant thunder from the continuous mortar fire. The sound causes the firestep I’m on to shake. I’ve still got the rosary you sent me, it’s in my webbing, just having a piece of home with gives me a reason to keep going till I can come home.