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------_._-----Aberyskir Property…

Llanwrtyd, Wake up!,I




SENNYBRIDGE WARRIOR'S STRAIGHT TALK TO HOME FOLKS Pack up your Troubles," &c. To the Editor of the BRECON COUNTY TÜlEs. Sir,-Beiiig a soldier (wounded four times) just finished my. 10 days' sick furlough from hospital, I have a particular grievance, and one which happens to be shared by many of my pals now resident in the ravaged section of fair France. Therefore, with your permission, sir, I feel it is entitled tb an airing. Why, I ask, are thousands of our fighters made the recipients of doleful letters, in which the fond writers set forth their various troubles and anxieties in the homeland, coupled with funereal prognostications about the duration of the war and the steady increase in the cost of living ? The strain of the past few months has brought into existence a large number of sin- ners, who appear to imagine that the soldier desires to- wallow in adversity during the moments when his attention is not engrossed with the blinkin' Huns. Permit me to quote one example out of many. Bill Sykes -in-ie up to me, in the fifing line one day, holding a letter in his hand, and asked me to read it for him. The contents of the letter were something like this Dear Husband, the papers say that the big battle is going to start in a few days, and I dreamt last -night I was at a wedding, and oh Bill, Mrs. Jones next door told me that to dream of a wedding was to hear of a death. Oh be careful, dear Bill, and stay in your dug-out whenever you get the chance. If I dream three times about a wedding I shall be frantic about you. Do you know, Bill, I have not tasted butter nor cheese for a week. I don't know what Lord Rhondda is thinking about. Tha price of meat has gone up higher than the steeple since he took control of it, and the margarine is not the same since the Government has stuck its paws into it," &c.. &c. This, your readers will admit, is not the sort of stuff to inspire a man whose ears are deaf- ened by the noise of the guns. It docs not help to endow his physiognomy with the smile that won't come off. Now for a word of advice—the kind of letter that Tommy admires. We long for the kind of letter which one of my pals had from his "better half." Here are a few extracts:— And now, dear Jack, I trust you are not worrying about me or the youngsters. We are in good health, and each of us prouder than the other that you are doing your bit. Johnnie has got one of those things that fires a cork, and Pussv-ilow nicknamed the Kaiser-is being kept on the- jump. Watch me shoot the Kaiser, mother he says, and when he is tired of this sport, or the cat has been clever enough to disappear, the rattle of his drums would frighten "the Germans. Mary and Jane spend many an hour studying the war map, and have placed a Union Jack on where they think your regiment is now. So don't worry about us. We are all right, and we feel you will be all right and come back to us after you have done I your duty." That's the way to write to a soldier. It bucks him up, and makes him glad and proud to know that his loved ones are soldiers in I spirit, if not in reality. Let me repeat, what has so often been said—there are no pessimists across the Channel. We are absolutely confident as to the ultimate issue of Armageddon, and look forward to victory. I I employ those sentences as a fitting preface I to that which follows. During the few days I spent at my old home (Sennybridge) it amazed me to run up against some gloom-laden indi- viduals filled with doubts regarding whether victory would be ours or the enemy's. One fellow had the d- impudence to say to me You may have been mig-hty lucky so far, Tommy, and I hope you will get through this year." It was hot the sentiment, but rather the fashion in which it was delivered, that made me feel glum. My well-wisher shook my hands so vehemently that I could not help having the impression he actually believed I was as good as dead and buried. Weeping j Willies of this variety ought to be banished from the country. They mar a soldier's holiday, and are apt to turn his thoughts to the rum ration." My advice to all at home is as follows --If you can't be cheerful in a soldier's compain* keep out of it. He knows all about the horrors of war, and wants to forget them. When your ¡ soldier son (or friend) is absent from home write to him as little as possible of the shortage I of margarine, sugar, &c., and for < the love of Mike leave out altogether your fears on his account. In other words (to quote a musician's terms) soft pedal on the low octaves and bang out double fortissimo on the higher. Give him plenty of the flight- and airy God knows, he needs it in his business. And when your boy comes home on furlough don't dirty his buttons and shrink his tunic by bathing him in tears. Cut out the lamentations, and give him the joy bells. Lead him to believe he is invulnerable, the kind of fellow who rejoices in more lives than a cat—(the writer has been wounded four times, and considers he has another five to go)- and who is as clever in the difficult art of defy- ing death as some people are in hoarding up rations. What will be the result ? Tommy will spend a good time in the homeland, and be so bucked up when he returns to the trenches that in the dark he may be mistaken for a full-fledged captain, or even that mighty military autocrat, a .newly appointed (unpaid, of course) lance- corporal. May all my Sennybridge friends accept my best thanks for their many kindnesses to me when on sick leave. Yours, &c., JP -T-. SENNI DAVIES.

-----__-------LLANELLY HILL.