Just a few lines to let you know that I am still alive in such a hot country and I am very glad to hear from you thanking you very much. Dear friend, Mr Roberts, I am very sorry to hear about Gronwy being wounded, but thank God he is well again to have his own back. Dear Friend, it is a terror here in the trenches, mud up to our waist, it is a pityful sight to see us coming from the trenches wet through and nowhere to dry, we comes back to our billet. Billet as what they call it, houses with no roofs on, no doors, it do make a chap think of home especially when the pantry is empty here, but I suppose we must keep on smiling. Mr Roberts, we are about 4 in a barn, we do often have a little sing song together, we do mostly sing, “Where is my Wandering Boy Tonight”. It do make me think of my Dear Mother as she use to wonder a lot about me but now it has turned. Well Mr Roberts, I hope you enjoy a merry Xmas, I did, plenty of mud, this was the program of Xmas day, machine guns for breakfast, shrapnel for dinner, Jack Johnsons for tea, and then we gives them plenty of pastry to make some of them sleep for the night.
Good Night from Will.
This is the only letter we have found so far that is not from GCR. Some online research, including on Ancestry.com and the Royal British Legions “Every Man Remembered” website, revealed that Will Amos was 25 year old miner from Abertysswg and presumably one of the Rev John Roberts’ chapel goers. He served in the South Wales Borderers. It can be assumed that the “hot country” refers to the danger not the temperature as the mud implies the Western Front.
He was killed on 30th May 1918 and is recorded on the Soissons Memorial at Aisne, France.
Jack Johnson was slang for a large German artillery piece that had a heavy punch and coughed up a good deal of black smoke; it was named after the African American World Heavyweight Champion of the time.