A letter addressed to William Leitch's sister, which was
published in the Newry Telegraph on the 6th February 1855.
4th Light Dragoons, William Leitch's Letter
Crimea, January 8th, 1855
`My Dear Sister,
I again write to you, hoping to find you still well, as I am at present, thank God for it; and another object I have in view is to let you know the way we are situated in camp, and a little about the climate. The weather is cold here - frost and snow every day - but still health prevails. Our tents, which are getting old, are of course very thin, but thanks to our kind friends we are well provided for in other respects. Our extra clothing issued here is a fur coat and a blue pilot coat, each so warm that you would think you were in a stove, together with large boots to go on over our overalls, and a fur-cap to come down over the ears, so that hardly any of the face is seen. The under-clothing consists of woollen guernsey, drawers, socks, gloves, and scarfs, and other nick-nacks, too numerous to mention; so that on the whole we are comfortable under the circumstances.
Our principal landing-place is Balaklava, a small village inhabited by Maltese followers, who sell us articles at the following prices:- Potatoes 5d per lb., onions 6d per lb., cheese, 3s 6d, and butter 3s 6d per lb; porter 1s 6d per pint, pickles 3s a bottle, and almost everything you could mention, at the same rate: so that if a person was made of money he could live as well as at home. Our rations are good, and as much as any man can make use of; but those other dear articles we have only when we can come at them. I forgot to mention the greatest treat of all, namely white bread 1s 6d per lb. We do get so tired of biscuit, that I would have given half my head to have been with my father baking the Christmas cakes. I would have made a good hole in one of them.
About the way the bombarding is going on, you can see truer accounts than I could give you, let me be ever so well inclined. Those people have nothing else to do but look for information. I must conclude with kind love to Father and Mother, Fanny,
and the remainder of the rising generation.
- Your affectionate brother,
`W____ L____, Corporal 4th Light Drgs.'
Thanks to Roy Mills of The Lives of the Light Brigade for passing this item on to me
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