Private GC Roberts 3144
1/5th Welsh Regt
attached 53rd & 54th Division Base Detail Camp
Oct 17 1915
Dear Dad and Mam
Just a line hoping you are all in good health. I do not feel very grand. I have got rotten pain in my stomach but I went to the doctor this morning so I will soon be alright once more. Well tomorrow is Mam’s and my birthday, I wish I was home to have a decent tea as usual. You can bet I shall be home for the next one and a good many more as well no more leaving England for me after this little lot is over I am going to join the Fireside Lancers and sign for long service in them too. I think the British people should be very thankful they have such a country with a regular climate and good water and every convenience. Here it is hot on one day and cold on the next and the place is swarmed with flies, they are a rotten nuisance and if you drink the water you get the disentry. Well this is not very cheerful writing for you to read. So how is Mailys and Dyfan getting on, hope they are well, give my love to them. Tell Dyfan I should like to have him for a bed mate if he is rather timid, but he must have improved since he has been in he Scouts. Has he received promotion yet or is he still in the ranks like myself. I am surprised at him if he is. Is Mailys still knitting socks for soldiers, I could do with a couple of pairs, have only one to my name at present, but hope to have some more in a day or two. Has she started teaching at Abertysswg Council School yet? Hope she passed the Junior so that she could. It is rotten not being able to able to have a letter, I should like to have some news from you. But I hope to get one through with this address soon. Give my love to Jon and Mag, tell them I will write to them later, hope they are in good health. I hope Mam and Dad are in good health, hope to be home for Xmas dinner with you. I must now draw to a close with best love to all
I am your loving son
MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY TO MAM AND MYSELF
Next Letter due November 25th
GCR was recovered from his wound at this point enough to return to some duty, if not the front line. During his time in hospital the 53rd Division had become accustomed to trench warfare but had been relieved on September 19/20th by the 13th Division. “The 159th and 160th Brigades were sent to Lala Baba, where the refuse of men and animals had accumulated and fouled the entire area, which had become a breeding place for a cloud of flies.” (History of the 53rd (Welsh) Division). Sickness took its toll now more than battle, to the extent that the 4th and 5th Battalions were so under strength that there were merged into a composite battalion.
Map of the northern section of the Gallipoli area of operations, from General Sir Ian Hamilton’s Gallipoli Diary Volume 2, showing Lala Baba at the south end of Suvla Bay west of the Salt Lake.