A Perpetual Stream of Bullets

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Lonsdale’s Cooks Experience

Private R. Thirwall, 11th Borders writing on December 24th says:-

Dear Mr. Star Man:- Once again it is the auspicious occasion of Xmas Eve, and as an acknowledgment of the pleasure and interest I take in receiving and reading your wonderful little paper, I thought I couldn’t do better than indite you a little effusion, just by way of wishing you and your readers compliments of the season. Our Xmas, if not exactly seasonable, is somewhat exciting. We have just returned from the trenches for a four days rest, after a spell in them of seven days. I daresay you will have heard plenty of the Lonsdales experiences from various sources. I and my four comrades are cooks for D Company and have a different life than the ordinary soldiers. We are not always in the trenches, and in fact often have to work in a far more dangerous position than the man in the trench. The last three days in the trenches we were

fixed up in a wood

through which came a perpetual stream of bullets, and the shells screamed through the trees overhead, occasionally bringing one down with a crash. During the course of our work we were not always in a position where we could bolt for our dug out when the shelling started. However, none of our cooks was injured, although one had a near squeak - a large piece of shell just whizzed past his face and smashed into a tree behind, he being fortunate in just being hit by a few splinters of wood. During the course of our work we find that one of the

biggest difficulties

we have to contend with is the matter of devising a light to work with. It is nearly always too wild and wet for candles, and even a paraffin lamp, if we could get it, is not suitable, as paraffin is so liable to get among the food. The thing that would suit us would be an electric torch each or

flash lamps
so if anybody has one they don’t want and would like you to sent it us we would be forever grateful. Although no doubt Xmas will be past when you get this, my fellow cooks and I nevertheless hope you and your readers have had a right jolly time of it, and wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Workington Star and Harrington Guardian, Published 31 December, 1915.
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