Dear Dad and Mam
It gives me great pleasure to tell you that I received 3 letters from you also the letter case from Auntie Annie with the letter from Mam enclosed. I was delighted to get them all as I had not had a letter from you for about five weeks. Diolch yn fawr am dano and same for Mailys and Dyfan too, the latest one was dated October 4th. Well you will no doubt hear some news from out here but I am alright. Have been in the much famed place you no doubt have heard about. I came back from the rest camp I told you about at the beginning of this week. I had to march 16 miles at a stretch and by Jove I was feeling a little bit tired. I will write and thank Aunt Annie for the case as soon as poss you may not get this letter till a few weeks have gone. I am in the pink and was glad to hear you all were the same. Will write again soon. Can’t write more now. Best love and best wishes to all.
Your Affect Son
The Third battle of Gaza had commenced. Bombardment on Gaza itself began on October 27th but in Allenby’s plan this was a ruse. The main assault was launched on October 31st at Beersheba to the south east against the left of the Turkish line. During the initial battle the 53rd Division (GCR’s), as part of XXth Corps held the left of the line facing Beersheba from the west while mounted troops made a wide right flanking move and attacked the town from the south east. This assault involved a cavalry charge of the Australian 4th Light Horse over several trench lines and into the town. On the 31st the 53rd Division was not molested by the enemy but continued into the town and then marched north into the hills to the north of Beersheba to take up a line at Towal Abu Jerwal facing north and west. This move prevented a Turkish counter move from getting around Allenby’s right.
The “much famed place” GCR refers to is Beersheba and the position of the 159th Brigade on November 3rd when the letter was written is marked on the map.
Map from The History of the 53rd (Welsh) Division 1914-1918 Major CH Dudley Ward DSO MC