Well it was no use grumbling as there war no other work, and there was no unemployment benifit at that time. Just at this time all the talk was the first war which we know did come, and it was ent long before nearly all the young lads had joined up. It was some-thing different; it was a chance to see different parts of the country also foreign countries, and several of them went away, they came home once on leave, went back and was never seen no more. The war had'ent been on only about two years and they called up our village postman, so I tried for the job and got it. That increased my weekly earnings. The hours of work were quite different. I started work at 5.50am and finished at 6 o'clock pm but I was resting during the kid-day hours, during that time of cause I was getting older and it was soon myt turn to join up, and I was puit in the army.
I was rushed here and there given about three months training and then sent to France but I was'ent the only one as they all seemed to be about me age. The country was getting short of men at that time. It was the winter of 1917, and I know we had some very sharp frosts, so much so that I had frost bitten hands and ears but I was'ent any different to lots more of the lads we all had our share.
It was'ent long after that that I was taken ill. I had to report sick and it was a hospital job. I had to pneumonia so I was a bed patient several times while I was

there we had air raids, but the nurses were very good. I know once there was a raid and all walking patients had to leave the ward, and the rest of us that could'ent get out, the nurses just came and sat on the beds and stayed there till the raid was over. Those doctors and Nurses did work very hard as there was always wounded soldiers coming in and others going back to there company or shipped over to England again for further treatment. I can't remember too much about it as I was too ill at that time, rapped up in cotton wool waistcoat and just being there. But I soon began to feel a bit better and my turn came when I was put on a hospital ship for England. I suppose I was one of the lucky ones. Any way we got back to England safe and sound, from there I can remember being put on a hospital train but where we were going I did'nt know I was with quite a lot of the Australian soldiers. When the train did stop and started unloading at the station to my surprise it was at Bury St Edmunds only a few miles from where I joined up also from where I was born. So once again my luck was in. After a few days in hospital I was beginning to feel much better so I was able to write a few lines to my parents to let them now where I was, and it was'ent long after that, they came to see me, being so close to home. I often had friends in, they did'nt know much about the war as there was only a few sir-raids, but the food was very short. But by

living in the country they were able to grow quite a lot of there fruit and vegetables leaving them a few shillings to send parcels to there sons and daughters abroad. After a few more weeks in hospital I was getting along quite wee, and thanks to the Doctors and Nurses I was able to leave hospital for a convalescent camp to get fully fit. An it could not have been in a better place, Shoreham by sea which is quite near to Brighton where I spent lots of my spare time. It was in the summer months so I was able to get in the sea and have a swim around. But good things did'nt last very long. I was soon on the move again, this time to report back to the Regiment at Dover where I saw a few of the lads that went over to France with me. They had been wounded and like me recovered and fit for duty again. Things began to move quickly. I had'nt been there long just getting used to the place and the soldiers I was with, and we were given seven days draft leave. Thinking we were off to France again on our return, but it was nice to see the old folk again and I know they were glad to see me, as we had to take out rations home with us, and of cause it helped them out during the time I was there. At that time I had one brother prisoner of war in Germany, another that was gassed in 1916 and was in hospital and a third that was serving with the army out East, in fact there were five of us on National Service.

...continued next month

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