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Private G T Holroyd


Harrogate Herald - 30th May 1917

Private G T Holroyd writes : 

I have been a recipient of the Knaresborough Post ever since I landed on French soil, May 18th, 1915. This is the first time I have ventured to correspond. It is a great pleasure to read the columns in the Post, also to keep in touch with Knaresborians. So I venture to write so that my friends will know that I am in the best of health and having a decent time. Life out here is not what people imagine. At least, that is my impression. We don't live under a storm of shells, even in the trenches, with an umbrella to ward them off. I have constantly been in and out of the firing zone for two years, and, hank God, I haven't had a scratch. I have had many exciting experiences while at Ypres and the Somme. The only time there is a great amount of danger is when an attack is in progress, and then everybody does not get knocked out. Men don't stop in the danger zone any longer than possible. There is a chance to laugh at Fritz when a safe distance away. I have often had this experience, and had it the other day. A party of thirty were engaged building a dugout, when Fritz spotted us and fired whizz bangs [Whizz-bang - German field-gun shell] in quick succession. The first shell landed a hundred feet away, but the atmosphere was too hot, so before one could say "Jack Robinson" everybody was in shelter, and Fritz was pounding away for nothing. In Belgium, where I am at present, the country is lovely. Several small hills - called mountains her - well wooded, break the monotony of the surroundings. The ruins set in a green frame, as it were, are most picturesque, and will provide much entertainment for travellers after the war. The trees are mostly elm and plane tree. Birds are frequent and welcome visitors. Their music is most pleasant to hear. During a "strafe" it is the same - one can hear them singing at intervals. I think, considering all things, we are treated very well in the Army. Our monthly payments enable us to procure a few pleasures. I smoked very little before this war, but find smoking fills an undefined want.


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