Dear Dad and Mam Mailys and Dyfan
I am very pleased to be able to tell you that I received your letters dated May 6th and was very glad indeed to get it. You will see by this writing that I am not writing as usual the fact is I have split my thumb again opening a tin and have got a big bandage on it so you see I can’t write very well. Am very glad indeed to hear that you are all in the pink and glad to say I feel in the pink myself. I have been promoted again and am now full corporal so you see things are busking (?) up I may get the other one back in time but am not particular. I wrote a long letter to you a few days ago hope you have had it back before now. Mam was saying she was praying for me I am quite sure of it because I have been protected from harm on many occasions. I was working in a trench this week and the whole side fell in but I was just in time to dodge round the traverse. One chap got buried but we had him out and he was no worse for it. I told you that the batt have gained 8 honours in the Gaza scrap not bad do you think so. Well I hope this war will not be long now and I can come home again. My word Mailys and Dyfan must be awful swanky by all accounts. well I wish I could come and try and swank with you. I can’t write more now thumb too awkward will write again soon.
Best love and best wishes to you all
I am Your loving Son and Brawd
Brawd = Brother
In this letter GCR continues the story of his losing his sergeants rank and gradually regaining it; telling his parents that it was because his company commander had it in for him and that’s he was a away in hospital. The story I was told by my father is somewhat different.
According to this version, Goronwy was being pestered by an Egyptian in a market, possibly in Cairo, finally lost it and punched the chap who promptly fell down dead; this lead to the temporary loss of rank. It is understandable that we did not reveal this to his Godfearing parents.
Long before my father told me this story, I can remember sitting on my Grandfathers lap and he would show me his left fist and say “Do you no what this is?” The answer was “6 months in hospital”. Then he would show his right and ask the same question; the answer was “Sudden death”