11 July 1915

HELLES - Private John Whitelaw, 1/8th Scottish Rifles, 156th Brigade, 52nd Division - One of the prevailing complaints from the British soldier is the choice of contents for parcels sent out from home by their loving families. Private John Whitelaw of the 1/8th Scottish Rifles could not help but laugh when he saw a friend opening his package.

"One of them had a tin of boot polish sent him: this gives one an idea of what some people imagine war to be - at that time our boots had never seen polish since nearly two months ago. Another chap had some sandwiches sent him and they had been on the road for only six weeks! The best of all was a lad who had a 1lb pot of Vaseline. He thought he was in for a feast thinking it was honey. I may add that after his first spoonful his language was quite suitable to the climate!"

IWM DOCS: J. Whitelaw, Manuscript diary, 11/7/1915