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Galloway’s War - a letter home from a Newton Stewart soldier

Galloway Gazette, June 5th, 1915

Corporal A M Johnstone of the Army Service Corps, writes:

“We are in a very busy part of the line. yesterday I was up at the trenches with supplies and we were under shellfire all the time. I can tell you we had some very narrow escapes. One of the signal officers near me had his bicycle blown right out of his hand by a shell. The only part of the bicycle that was left was the tool bag, the rest being smashed to smithereens and the marvellous thing was he didn’t even get a scratch.

“Day and night heavy artillery duels have been raging and the cannonading has been something awful. The whole air quivers with the rush of large shells, and the ground shakes with the concussion of the guns. We sleep not far from the firing line and very often, in the night, a shell bursts near us. Our artillery is only a few yards behind us and the noise is simply deafening.

Our work is never done, and we have very little time to ourselves, even to write a letter.

To-day we have seen a big aeroplane fight. One of the Germans was brought down this morning, but we have lost one this evening. Our supply waggons had a rough experience when, very near the line, an aeroplane dropped bombs on them and they were not able to continue on. The village we passed through was battered to atoms. No one at home can even realise what the country here is like till they see it. Towns, cities and villages are battered to the ground. Not an inhabitant left nor a house left standing. It is something awful.

I recent saw my old company, the 4th Seaforths, and there is quite a difference since I was with them. Only 15 of my old company remains and of the old battalion only 123 remain.....

Just as I was writing a shell burst within 15 yards of me and I am sorry to say one of our men has been injured.....

 

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