29 October 1915

HELLES - Corporal Archie Alexander, 1/5 Royal Scots Fusiliers, 155 Brigade, 52nd Division - A fresh faced, innocent, handsome but proud soldier from Ayr Road, Irvine in the county of Ayr, Archie, previously an employee of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway, joined the ranks. Surviving at Gallipoli, he was later killed in the Battle of Romani in 1916.

Photograph: The RSF in the Support lines at the Vineyard, Helles (52nd Divisional History).

"I am in the firing line and having my short spell off so I am pleased to use my time this way. No doubt things out here will be appearing as quiet to folks at home, quite true in a sense but busy enough for those actually concerned. The Turk and his German advisors try to harass us as much as possible keeping us very much on the alert and taking no chance. Trench warfare is - ? We have a lot of mining, sapping and getting at him with Bombs and many an anxious time he has. I have just got over a short spell in a hot corner of a bombing sap after doing our best to oust some of their snipers from an awkward position. - You would not know me I have not shaved my lip for over 2 months and have a fancy moustache, eh? - We lost another of our old officers the other night - Chris Vivers [Captain John Vivers, a schoolmaster, was killed on 27 October 1915, aged 25, buried in Redoubt Cemetery]; a fine fellow he was too. Shot thro' the throat by a sniper in this part we are in now."

Article by R. Pike first published in the The Gallipolian, the journal of the Gallipoli Association, titled “A Scotsman’s Letter From Gallipoli and Egypt 1915-16, p.20, No.70 Christmas 1992.