The Brecon Radnor Express. 4th April 1918
Gunner H. L. Vaughan, son of Mr and Mrs Vaughan, Clogy Farm, writing from Mesopotamia, says It may perhaps be interesting to you to get a little news from Mesopotamia. I landed in this country on the 19th October, after having two months on the ocean. The voyage was to me very interesting, but quite uneventful as we saw no submarines. I may say that I was glad to get to our destination, life on the sea gets rather monotonous. Anyway, we are here, and ,since landing we have been pushed forward up the line very quickly, consequently I have seen a good deal of Mesopotamia in a short time. It is a very strange country to me, quite different to England, there are no beautiful green fields and hedgerows. It is practically one wide stretch of desert. There are, of course, plantations where dates, limes, pomegranates, and other fruits grow. They are as a rule fenced in by high walls made of mud and stones. The inhabitants consist of Arabs, Armenians and possibly some Jews. One of the most difficult things out here for us to contend with is the climate. At present we are supposed to be in the middle of winter, but in the daytime it is quite as hot as the hottest day in summer in England. Then at night, and especially early morning it is terribly cold, consequently we have to keep wrapped up at night. I myself have kept in wonderful good health since being out here, and at the present time I am feeling very fit and well. On the other hand many of my comrades who came over with me are now in hospital, and I have lost sight of them altogether. There are quite a lot of Indian troops (natives) out here, and having to work hand in hand with them, it is necessary for us to know a little of their language, and it is wonderful how quickly we are picking it up. We have had no rain here for some months, and perhaps you can guess the terrible amount of dust that is on the roadways, in some places it is a, foot to eighteen inches deep, this is very unpleasant for troops who are on the move, but we are getting used to it. At the present time, I with a, few of my comrades, are living in an old Arab house, which was I believe originally an Inn. We are having a splendid course of training in sanitation and purification of water. It will soon be Xmas, and I am wondering what we shall get for our Xmas dinner. I often think of those at home, and of all my friends in dear old Radnorshire, and I am anxiously looking for- ward to the time when I shall be back amongst you once again, under better and happier circumstances.
From The National Library of Wales Newspaper Archives.