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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Transcript of Letter from Second Lieutenant Gamble, 23 October 1915

Please remember that all transcripts show what is written on the page; spelling and grammatical mistakes are not corrected.

(D/DLI 7/238/1)


...in our Company Mess (there are 6 of us) - such as cakes, and 
also a few extras which we are able with difficulty to get from 
villages near by, such as tinned fruit, tinned salmon or sardines
and vegetables. 
A three-days-old newspaper usually drags through, 
but I shall always be glad to get papers or magazines of any 
description. 
We are in these "alleged" trenches for a week, and 
hope to get relieved on Sunday night. They are more breast-
works than trenches, and are by no means sound. We spend all 
spare time strengthening and repairing them. 
At one point we are right close up to the Germans, 
and can hear them quite plainly at times. It rained hard last
night, and the "ditches" were in a frightful mess this morning - 
literally over the boot-tops in mud everywhere. 
I think, considering that the British have held 
them for many months, that the Regiments who have been in before, 
ought to have seen to it, that they were well-drained, bomb-proof, 
and comfortable long ago; I suppose the explanation is that one 
Regiment only occupies this part of the line for a short period 
at a time, and they don't like wasting time improving trenches
for someone else's benefit. The last lot that the 14th were 
in, were absolutely top-notch. Properly drained, boarded and 
concreted, and in every way comfortable and safe; but, you see, 
a Territorial Brigade had been there for two months, and had 
taken real pains to get their quarters jolly good. These were...