War and History Fiction posted April 15, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
a letter home from a war weary soldier

It Helps to Think of You

by mfowler


Dear Miss Bligh,

Thanks for the letters and the parcels. They're bonza. I want to say some things. Please don't think I'm being rude. It helps a bloke cope, see. I imagine you, see you in a creamy lacy dress sittin' under a huge gum tree. Sippin' lemonade with your friends on one of those pale, Victorian Autumn days. It helps to think of you. I don't know you, not in the way I want to. I fill in the gaps between the shellin', see, when a bloke gets a chance to be alone with his thoughts. I hope you don't mind a bloke romancin' a little. A bloke who's probably gunna die somewhere on this gawdawful (sorry) peninsula. It helps to think of you. Your letters fill my nights in the trenches. I read them by candle. Remember them in the dark. Your writing is so kind. I imagine you must be a gentle woman, one who'd make a bloke want to tame his ways. You know, stay off the grog and stay home with the missus and kids. There's a lot of us here who never got to have a wife. Sergeant Wells has a family. We buried him near the beach just yesterday. He asked me to tell his wife he loves her just before he died. I hope I can. I'm not too good with mushy stuff, but I reckon a wife should hear that. If this campaign ever finishes and I'm still around, I reckon I'll find Mrs Wells and tell her just what her bloke said. Sorry, I'm a bit distracted. The Sarge was a good mate. It helps to think of you, write, talk to you. Not many want to know how a bloke feels out here. We keep it simple. The socks you sent are great. I reckon I've got the driest feet on Gallipoli.  I hear your voice when I read your letters. It's light and creamy. Soothes. I can see your eyes, just a little, but I reckon they're blue, soft blue like a baby rug. I even imagine sippin' lemonade under the tree with you. It helps to be with you, even for a few moments in my mind.
Yours truly
                                                                         Private Reg Hobbs


The famous Battle for Gallipoli began on April, 25, 1915. It was an ill-advised attack on the beachhead of Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. Turned back by stubborn Turkish forces who had the field advantage, the campaign ultimately failed. This year marks the centenary of the landing. Australians, New Zealanders, Turks, and British citizens alike will gather at dawn on the Peninsula to commemorate one of the most defining campaigns of the First World War.

ANZAC: Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

On 25 April, 1915 the Anzacs landed with British troops on the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Here they fought an ultimately losing campaign to secure the strategic position at the head of the Bosporus. In a campaign lasting months, huge losses were sustained as Turkish positions on the ridge top kept the troops hunkered down in trenches dug into the steep cliffs of the peninsula.

Occasionally, people back home would send small parcels, letters to the embattled fighters to help with morale.
Bonza = great
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