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Rats in Millions

Workington Star and Harrington Guardian | Friday, 14 January, 1916.

Private T.C. Seymour, 11th Border, writing on January 6th, says:-

Dear Star Man, - I am now taking the greatest pleasure in thanking you and all our "Star" readers on behalf of our ‘Machine Gun Section', for the fine parcel of cigarettes which arrived at a time, after our Xmas ‘orgie’, when our stock was low, and being in the trenches we were unable to replenish it. When I whacked them out we lit up, and such a volume of smoke arose that the rats commenced to cough and wheeze, and their C.O. coming out in protest, as it were, a bullet put paid to his account.

These rats are in millions, and are mobilising on the trenches, all well equipped in the way of squeals, and are about to declare war on us for the way we massacre them. Regarding the life out here, you would perhaps be interested to know that Fritz has been very busy shelling us constant, and one shell carried away our dug out chimney, and on its course hit a man literally blowing him to pieces. Our section out here are called The "Strafers."

By our comrades in the other Battalions of our Brigade, and by gad, we do give Fritz and his lot quite "a hell of a time." Well, prior to concluding, I wish to state that instead of drinking your health in a good auld way, we take the opportunity of drinking your health in mud – M-U-D. It is plentiful out here, being up to the waist. Hark! I hear “The last boat is leaving for home”, and not desirous of being left, I now take the opportunity of thanking you all once again, and wishing you all, and your paper, every success during the forthcoming year. PS – Amongst your readers here, on the M.G. Section are Corporal R. Burns, Gunners A. Hill and W. Bell, E.W. Bowman, F. Duers, J. Glaister, A. Ashton, J. Cowan and H. Ward.

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