January 17, 1916

Sally Wilson

3d King’s African Rifles
British East Africa
17th Jan 1916

 

Dear Father,

It is now some time since I had news of any sort from home & what we see in the telegrams is not too good & I expect we won’t get the troops over here we were expecting now.  We are having a very jumpy time at present – trying to keep the Germans off the railway that the South Africans got-up.  They always pick out the places where the bush is so thick that it is hopeless trying to go after them & always the danger of being led into an ambush.  I am attached to what they call a flying column supposed to be ready to take the road within 20 mins. of receiving notice.  It is nearly always in the middle of the night or the early hours of the morning that we get turned out & if we are ordered to take one days rations we are generally out for three days, so if we go out with three days rations it is six days before we get back.  The South Africans are starting to come up now & it will be a relief to everybody when they all get through.  Gen. Smith-Dorrien is also expected to arrive shortly.  We went out & made a reconnaissance in form against one of the German positions but it was decided that it was too strong to attack so we came back again.  We were sent out a few days later to attack a German force which had just arrived at a certain place & had not had time to consolidate, it was about 4.30 pm before we got in touch with them & we had to withdraw at dark.  By the next morning the whole of the Germans had vanished.  They always do that if they find they are up against a superior force simply scatter in the bush & re-assemble somewhere else.  I see the King Edward has been sunk in the North Sea, but there does not seem to be so many air raids now.  They have got one or two aeroplanes out here but they have great difficulty in flying.  They complain about pockets in the atmosphere and other atmospheric troubles.  Has Joe Brunton ever turned up yet?  The Germans do not seem to bother about many prisoners even now-a-days & I expect we will be doing the same.  We are at present in the hottest part of the country & it is pretty trying when we have to do much marching.

Yours Aye,

Tom

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January 17, 1916 Copyright © 2013 by Sally Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

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