11 June 1917

Archive Ref:  IE IJA /J2/83_Letter to his Father_ (143)

Please thank Fr Chas +Lena

 for their welcome letters

B.E. Force


My Dearest Father,

To save you unnecessary anxiety I told you in my last note that we were again on the march, which was quite true, but the march was not backwards but towards the enemy. When I wrote we were on the eve of one of the biggest battles of the war, details of which you will have read in the morning papers. I was with our gallant Irish boys in the capture of the famous Wytacheate, “Witch- Cat”( as they call it ) ridge, all through the hard fighting of the past few days and am now back in safety at the rear, without a scratch thank God. We are all in tremendous fettle over the grand victory but, to be candid,dead beat. When I have

Click HERE to view enlarged images

had a wash ( which will take some time as the dirt is thick) half a dozen square meals, at the same sitting,+ a little sleep of 56 hours I shall send you a long letter.This is only a line to let you know I am well and safe. We are camping in a wood green and fresh after the ploughed battlefield; I am trying to scribble this sitting on a pile of sand bags with the colonel beside me a good friend + extremely kind- I hope he wont fall asleep before I do and roll over on his back as he is a tidy weight to pick up. We do not know as yet were we are going. Probably we may have a good tramp before us, but it will be towards rest and quiet, away from danger and the awful roar of the never ending guns.

I did not lose my head in the great battle but I left my hat behind me and many pounds of superfluous flesh, the heat was terrific.

Our Blessed Lord has been good to me again, has he not? But it is all down to your united prayers. One eye is asleep already I must stop ever your loving Willie.