Earlestown War Memorial
The Great War Roll of Honour
Mr. Pierce, of 11, Stanley-street, Earlestown, has received the
following from his son, Private Sam Pierce, who along with his brother Percy,
is doing trench work at the front:-
We have been fairly through it since I wrote last. Talk about hell with the lid off! The other night – Tuesday in fact – we were expecting an attack on our position, and only twenty-five yards separated us from the enemy. Percy was in the first line, and I in the reserve. They started rapid firing, and we thought they were coming, so off I bolt to Percy and said “Buck up, kid, I am with you.” And we were on top of the trench together, and our bayonets glittered as we fired. You would have been proud of your two little lads had you seen them then.
I am pleased to tell you that we are both in the best of health, and what do you think, when I first saw Percy he did not know me until I spoke to him. He said I looked better than I had done for years.
I am sending you a pair of cufflinks which I got from Ypres. I should have been able to send you a helmet, only I broke it – with the head inside. I gave one a “clough” with the butt, and it was heavier than I ever struck in the smithy.
I was sent to the dumping ground for a box for headquarters, and a sniper nearly had me. The bullet struck the back of my cap, but “a miss is as good as a mile”. It shook me for a while, but I soon got over it. I went up with water for Percy the other day, and when I was coming back I saw one of our chaps, named Thomas, shot through the chest on the same road as I had just gone over. They had a machine gun trained on the road.
We have been examined by the doctor this morning, and you know what that means. You will be reading great things shortly now. Have you heard that Joe Betts has been killed? Only a few hours before he shouted to me, “How goes it, Piercy,” and waved his hand. He was a good soldier, and he died a soldier’s death with his rifle to his shoulder, sniping from a sap. Two of them were waiting for him, and one got him in the cheek and the other in the neck.