28th June 1916, page 10
Another letter from Sergeant Gutteridge of Bromley explaining the fun the ‘boy’ had trying to keep the soldiers awake!
Of course we expected the D.C.M. for our good work in keeping the men awake
“We had some fun a few nights ago. We had to “stand to” and the boys were allowed to lay down their equipment and helmets on, but not to go to sleep. We found it difficult to keep them awake, so a few gathered round and told them the methods used by the Huns when they gas us.
This is how the tale went.
The Germans send forth to our line trained monkeys, with large tin cans tied on their tails full of gas, and when within reasonable distance of out lines they fire at the cans, causing the gas to come out. We catch the gas and the monkeys return to their lines.
After hearing the story the boys laid down, each taking a vow he would do nothing else but look for monkeys. Then they soon began to drop off to sleep, so we took all the candles from the room, left them in darkness, went out and returned with a goat, and let it loose in their bedroom, taking good care to close the doors from the outside.
We could hear the boys shouting, “Take it away, it’s scratching me. It’s a cow, no, its one of those German monkeys,” and to add to the fun, the goat started to butt them. When we could leave off laughing we opened the door and let the goat out.
We, of course expected the D.C.M. for our good work in keeping the men awake, and we nearly got a D.C.M. for stealing the goat.
All the boys were merry and bright.”