Dear Dad and Mam
Just a line again to let you know that I am getting on alright and hope to be better in a short time. Hope you all at home are keeping in good health for there is nothing like it. Well I expect you know by now that there has been a bit of a do out here and our batt was in it I have not heard how L Morgan got off have not seen anyone from the our company to find out but will make enquirers as soon as I see someone from the coy. I went to hospital ten days before that scrap came off so you see I was in luck in one way but I should like to have been there after tramping all the way up after them. I have been told that I have been reverted to L Cpl owing to coming to hospital if that is correct I intend to chuck it in as it’s not worth having I know I have been in the captain’s bad book for a month or more and he would have had me before if he could but he couldn’t as I did not give him the chance and he also could not get me as being inefficient because I am efficient as I passed in the school. As I could not help going to hosp he had me but I don’t worry about it that’s one good thing. When I return I intend to revert and transfer into another company and start over again there. Don’t you think that wil be best, because there is too much scratching and red tape with the captain I am with now and I won’t do it to please him or anyone else. Well enough of this. How is young Glyndwr getting on hope he has got rid of his cold by now. I received the fifth B Times two days ago have not had another letter yet. I wrote to you about three days ago also to Jon. Hope you have had it by now. I was talking to a chap from Abergele one day last week and he told me he knew you he also told me that Francis McRay had been killed at Sulva at the start of that campaign. I don’t remember his name. How is Dyfan and Mailys getting on in school hope they are alright. I don’t know of any news for you. Hope the mission is still prospering as in the commencement. Well I must wind up again hoping you are all in the best of health.
Best love and best wishes to you all
I am, your loving Son
The “bit of a do'” refered to was the First Battle of Gaza which started on March 26th 1917 in which the 53rd Division played a central role.
“The first of three battles fought in the Allied attempt to defeat Turkish forces in and around the Palestinian city of Gaza takes place on this day in 1917.
By January 1917, the Allies had managed to force the Turkish army completely out of the Sinai Peninsula in northeastern Egypt, leaving British forces in the region, commanded by Sir Archibald Murray, free to consider a move into Palestine. To do so, however, they would first have to confront a string of strong Turkish positions atop a series of ridges running west to east between the towns of Gaza and Beersheba and blocking the only viable passage into the heart of Palestine. These Turkish forces, commanded by the German general Friedrich Kress von Kressenstein, numbered some 18,000 troops; Murray planned to send twice that many British soldiers against them under the command of his subordinate, Sir Charles Dobell.
On the morning of March 26, 1917, Dobell and his men advanced on the ridges under the cover of dense fog; they were able to successfully cut off the east and southeast of Gaza and deploy troops to prevent the Turks from sending reinforcements or supplies to the town. The 53rd Infantry Division, at the center of the advance, received considerable assistance from a cavalry force commanded by Sir Philip Chetwode. However, near the end of that day, with a victory in Gaza in sight, Dobel and Chetwode decided to call off the attack. The decision, attributed to the failing light and mounting casualties among the infantry troops, was nonetheless controversial—other officers believed the Turks had been on the verge of capitulating.
Though the infantry resumed their attacks the next morning, the overnight delay had given Kressenstein time to reinforce the permanent garrison at Gaza with 4,000 new troops. After confronting a renewed Turkish counterattack, aided significantly by German reconnaissance aircraft from above, Dobell was forced to call off the attack. His forces suffered 4,000 casualties during the First Battle of Gaza, compared with only 2,400 on the Turkish side.”