3rd Battle of Ypres.

3rd Battle of Ypres.

A by Fear Corrupts!

Letter from the trenches, 3rd battle of Ypres.


                        Ypres, France, Oct. 23rd, 1917


"We fight for not the love of the battle, violence, status, or respect.


Dear Sarah,

I’ve been waiting for months to hear from you, and now, just a couple of days ago, I finally received your letter.

The moment my eyes hit the smooth, crisp, writing of your letter I instantly remembered what I was here fighting for.

Your graceful words of love & care enlighten my mind, giving me a ray of sunshine, in all of this death and darkness.

Sarah, I cherish your letter more than I have ever cherished an item before.

I guard my ray of light, your god sent words of hope, with my life.


Most of the hopeless men in my platoon have yet to hear from their wives and family, so I’m careful not to let on that I have received any communication from outside of the trenches.

My friends, and the fellow soldiers around me, are getting desperate and irritable.

Some lucky soldiers have gotten themselves injured and have been excused for home leave.

I’ve seen desperate men shoot themselves in the foot in order to get out of here, to see their wives and children again.

If only you knew how much I miss you Sarah, but I love you more than I miss you to stop fighting for you now.


The living conditions here are, I’m sorry to say, unbearable.

I’m not going to lie, pigs live in more hospitable environments than what I’m living in.

Every morning I shave in mud and bathe in blood, so to speak.

The corpses are piling up around here, with such little time, or no time to give proper burials.

The rotting bodies dominate every sense possible.

My hard bread and bully beef is beginning to taste more and more like the deceased every day.

But worst of all around here is the smell, the smell of rotting flesh is undeniable.

Even my commanding officer, on the occasional times that he actually does visit the trenches, is starting to have a hard time ignoring the death that surrounds us all.


My uniforms are all matted with dirt & lice.

My hair is teeming with the brutal parasites, the irritants are almost impossible to get rid of.

My friend Adrian had tried hair pomade, but the stuff was nearly useless.

It surprises me that any creature can thrive on such filthy humans. But then again, rats are also quite successful around here, healthy & plump from feeding off of all the dead soldiers.

Adrian and I kill as many of the filthy creatures as possible. Rat killing has become some what of a sport around here. Silly, but a time passing distraction nonetheless.


When I’m not "rat killing" around here, I’m trying to dry out my socks.

My boots are always wet, which leaves my socks no chance of staying dry.

The constant wetness on cold feet is almost enough to drive a man insane.

My left foot has developed a slight infection, caused by, I assume, my wet muddy socks.

Adrian calls my infection "Trench foot". Adrian and my peers are becoming very concerned about my foot, Adrian feels that if the infection spreads, I will have to have my foot amputated.

I hope that it never comes to that...


"Day by day, night by night, I remain tall and tough, and hold on tight"


You were curious to know if I was sleeping well, correct?

Well, once again, I’m sorry to tell you, but sleeping around here is almost impossible.

If not constantly awakened by bombardment, or paranoia, I awaken at the sight of you in my dreams. A beautiful, vibrant face like yours is enough to wake any man in this environment.

I wish that I could remain asleep when your face drifts into my dreams, it’s such a shame to lose such a clear image of you. In my waking thoughts your face is distorted, for I have seen too many horrific sights to wakefully see such a happy image clearly.


"Dreams are a blessing, a gift from god. A subconscious escape, a light in the fog"


With barely giving you a glimpse of my present life,

I tried to tell you some of the reality of my situation, not to alarm you, but just so you know how much I truly love you.

I want the world to know what we have been going through, what we’ve earned, gained, and lost.

I want the world to know what we are doing here, what we are fighting for, who we are fighting for.

I came here, to the holes of hell, and do what I am told to do.

I came here, to the pit of humanity, to fight in this war for you....

And when I do return, to my welcoming home, I plan to marry you like I promised, Sarah.


"I hold my head high, and suck up the pain.

I am fighting for you, and I would do it again & again"


Please respond, I would like to know if this letter makes it to you...

Yours Truly,

John Murphy




Letter DECLINED : Canada’s Postal Censorship.


We fight for not ourselves, but for the ones we love the best"

© 2008 Fear Corrupts!

Author's Note

Fear Corrupts!
This is my letter from the trenches, 3rd battle of Ypres, World War 1.
I wrote this letter for the "Great war" Passendeale World War 1 letter writing contest, which I have already submitted, a couple of weeks ago. I've yet to hear from the Dominion Institute in Toronoto who received the letter, still waiting.
Review/feedback would be great...

My Review

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Very enjoyable. It was vivid and imaginable. You bring to life some of the harsh realities of this brutal and desperate war. Nicely done. My only complaint so to speak is the use of the words 'around here', which became redundant and boring after a while. Other than that the piece is good. Nice job!

Posted 12 Years Ago

Very well done. I think you captured the essence of the brutality of the soldier's life very well. The only line that I thought was awkward was 'I want the world to know what we are doing here, what we are fighting for, who we are fighting for' as this wasn't really explained probably because after a time in the trenches no-one really knew anyway.

Good luck.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on November 6, 2008
Last Updated on November 17, 2008


Fear Corrupts!
Fear Corrupts!

Wastedville, Canada

''Often what defines one's wisdom is not what one knows, but what one can predict " "Don't let other people determine your actions or alter your personality. Your reputation belongs to you, and is .. more..