Gunner Bert Cox
France Nov. 14, 1917
My Dear Ella and Murrill,
Again I have the pleasure of writing you without ever having heard a word of you since Xmas. It does seem peculiar that you should have cut me off at the moment when I think there is least cause. I wrote you several letters from England and one from France about Sept.1st.
We went into action for the 1st time on Sept. 7th and since then have learnt a lot about Fritz and his weapons and how he uses them. He has certainly shown us a lively time on several occasions, shelling our battery more than any other in this Division, but we have had very few casualties and only one killed.
The dirty work is done mostly at night when one knows there's a war on. I should like you to see the ruins of this once-upon-a-time big city. It's more than one can describe. There's not a single house or even a wall standing that is not entirely or partly down. Never saw anything like it , even in a movie. ( probably Lens or Loose)
Last night I was on a working party and was within 300 yards of the front line. It's certainly an awful place to stick around and not a bit healthy. We sleep in dug outs about 40 ft. down in the ground and this is where we take shelter when Fritz starts to "heave 'em over". For all around experience it can't be beaten, but at the same time they can sign those old Peace Terms whenever they feel like it.
We get a bath every fortnight ( 2 weeks ) at the Divisional baths when we hand in the dirty underwear and get so called clean ones. I pity the poor fellow who gets mine as I am horribly lousy. We all are. One gets them in the dug outs. I could easily have picked 400 lice off the shirt I took off last week.
. I had long letters from NY and also from home this week, with all the accounts of the wedding " a big time was had". So you see, you're the only one of the family that has treated me in this uncalled for manner, but I'll forgive you if you write me a nice long letter soon.
And you might send me a picture of the kids. Roderick must be quite a man by this time; and Doris, I suppose, already kidding the boys.
Love and kisses for them and yourselves from your ever affectionate brother,