April 8th 1918

Lieut. Greville Thomas (Gurkha Rifles) is in Palestine. Over Christmas he was on the Red Sea and was able to spend a few days in Jerusalem last month.

Greville has from his earliest days been a great letter-writer; his letters are capitally descriptive and expressive of his feelings and ideas, from his letters home from the OPS to some long beautiful letters he has been sending more recently from the East – this before his first experience of action:

26/3/18 “Tomorrow night we go into the real thing and I should like to write you a few lines today, as I may not get the chance to do so again for a week or two… 

We expect pretty stiff opposition now, but we are sure to win through. If I get through all right you’ll know.  I’ll write as often as I can; if I don’t, you’ll know I have done my best from the day I entered the Service and you needn’t worry about anything else…

I’m looking forward to tomorrow night and the following weeks. I shall see my first real fighting then. I’m enjoying every minute of the life now and wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

Greville is the oldest son of my sister Helen – and my own dear nephew. His family were encouraged by his fine words, but understandably anxious to hear that he came through all right.

Fortunately, we did not have to wait long to hear that, for now at least, all is well:

29/3/18. “I write, as it were, in the midst of battle. We captured the ridge we are on the night before last, and we have been fighting to hold it ever since. The hillock I and my Company took was defended by a machine-gun, a Lewis gun and about ten men – all Germans we think…

My only kit now is a blanket and note books and the small photos I have of you all. Well, cheerioh, all of you, and don’t worry about me. I quite enjoy the show. One has got one’s job to do, and I try to do mine to completion, and yet don’t take any unnecessary risks.”