Monthly Archives

May 1916

Did Lionel Kennedy get married to evade compulsory military service or just to pass the time away?

May 16, 1916

May 16, 1916

Dear Amy,

I got a letter from you on March 16 and it’s very newsy.

Did Lionel Kennedy get married to evade compulsory military service or just to pass the time away?

Fancy Ock being so handy! It all comes from when he used to drive nails into the capping block in the smithy. I often miss a good kit of tools.  When we were in Turkey I collected and made a few tools for muddling about with. I would get a good bit of amusement out of collecting brass and aluminium nose caps off the shells. I made a ring for a finger last week in the trenches from the driving band of a German shell and will send it to youth some curios when I get the chance,  We came out of the firing line last evening after ten days.  It was our fourth shift and we are getting used to the different warfare.  There is more shelling than we got against us in Turkey but being able to back clean out of it for as long as we have is great.  We get cleaned up and rested. We have to sleep in our fighting gear when in the trenches and get pretty dirty and anything but comfortable. We can take our clothes off during the day and get a wash.

We are getting leave and a pass to England next week and I am looking forward to it.  There are not a great many of the original battalion left now and the old hands are getting leave.  80% were lost in the first week in Turkey.

The weather is warming up nicely.  The crops have grown about a foot since we came.

The country is very pretty.

Love to all, Stid

Looking for a shell that didn’t explode

May 3, 1916

May 3, 1916

My dear Mother,

I got a couple of letters from home during the week.

Mrs Myers sent me some reading matter. That was nice of her, wasn’t it.

The people here just finished putt in their crops and they are growing nicely.  They sow much heavier than we do and they come up very quickly like hedges.  The soil is soppy wet, 14” deep. I’ve been down that far looking for a shell that didn’t explode and stopped when I came to water.  In the little paddocks the grass is a couple of feet high- everything in blossom.  The place looks lovely.  They get the greatest wheat yield in the world about here.  There is not room for a big paddock but every space that is not built on is cropped.  All the trees have been planted in rows and are pruned each season for wood.

I have been in the trenches for three sessions.

There are a couple of McCormick reaper and binders near our line and there are single furrow plows everywhere.

I am to get a trip to England next week on furlough.  There are not a great many original men in the battalion and we are getting a holiday in any part of England we like – with a railway pass that will take us anywhere so the next letter you get will probably be written there.  I have a couple of addresses to go to there that Aunt Grace gave me.  We got the english papers one day old here so we are well off for news.

I think the Irish rebels want shooting very badly.

I saw 115 big shells drop round one of our guns recently.  Some did not explode and I lowered an ordinary shovel down the hole.  It made 12” to water.  How much further it went I do not know.  They make a very violent explosion when they go off.

Best love to all, Stid