Date: 9 May 1918


Mariner's Interesting Letter

We publish below an interesting letter from Bombardier Willie Lowe, Glanamman, to his parents at Brynamman. Mr. Lowe is an experienced mariner and soldier, and has been in many a scrap with the enemy on land and sea. Also touching memorial lines to departed relatives are appended, written by our hero Somewhere in France:—

"My dear Mother and Father,—Just a few lines, trusting they will find you quite well; also Ronny. Glad to say that I am much better than I have been. Sorry I was unable to write you a letter sooner. I hope you will excuse me, as time is so scarce for letter writing. I am writing at sea, so as to be able to post it as soon as we get port. I shall probably be on my way back to France again by the time you get his, as we only stay about 12 hours in port, being at sea all the time, except when we have accidents by collisions, &c. Such happened to us a few weeks ago, when we crashed into another ship in the dark between 2 and 3 in the morning. We were going full speed as usual to get home. The ship was coming towards us. We failed to see each other until too late. So we knocked our heads together. Our vessel being the largest, the other suffered the worst. Owing to submarines, we could not stop. They got to the nearest land safe. Our ship had a broken nose, and it took about ten days to replace it again. It was our second visit to the surgery after collision. Well, fortune or misfortune followed the very next voyage. We narrowly escaped by only a few inches in not having a repetition of the same thing. This voyage, there was a slight change in the circumstances. Our friend the Hun pirate tried his hand at us. We sighted something in the water, which came quite close, and to bluff us that it was one of our boats, he had a light showing. I was on watch at the time. It was night, and very dark, which made it difficult to see far. Knowing that no ship was allowed to carry lights in that particular vicinity, we knew Fritz was up to his antics, and waiting his chance for another victim to his long barbaric list. But not this time, Fritz. We fired a shell (high explosive) and let go straight at the light, and put paid to his bill, remembering the old saying, 'Better to be sure than sorry.' We gave him another to help him further. They will never worry the Kaiser for their Iron Cross. We did not wait to pick up the pieces, and went on our journey unmolested. We were signalled that another submarine was about yesterday, but Fritz won't appear on the scene by day if he can avoid it. Glad you liked the wreath I sent from France. The verses I composed during the voyage on Palm Sunday, at sea. Kindest regards to Messrs. Bartholomew, Evans, and Powell, Gwaun-cae-gurwen.—Your affectionate son, Willie."

'Mariner's Interesting Letter.' The Amman Valley Chronicle and East Carmarthen News. 9 May 1918. 4.

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