8 Dec 1916 … so I should think I’m here for Xmas

Ward B16
1st Southern Genl
Birmingham

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your P.C. this morning, & cannot understand why you have not had more than 1 P.C. as I’ve written quite three times. We can get out here from 2 – 4pm every day so this afternoon I’m going to have a look around Brum. Saw the Dentist yesterday & he told me to call again in a fortnight so I should think I’m here for Xmas. I’m keeping more or less fit & cheerful & am looking forward to a good old beano when I leave here. There is a concert tonight, shall have to imagine I’m at the Empire or there about. I miss the beer I used to get at Solihull, shall have to be a TT for a short while. Hope Ethel is still merry & bright and keeping the house going & also learning “Alice”. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to all at home.

Your affect Son
Jack
8-dec-1916-b040

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8 Dec 1916 … all old crocks are being sent back …

Although dated 8 Dec 1916 it seems likely this was written before that date based on the second letter also dated 8 Dec.

Ward B16
1st Southern Genl
Birmingham

My Dear Mother & Father
I came back to this show yesterday afternoon & as I know my way about & also a few chaps have managed to settle down fairly well. Have not seen the Dentist yet, but shall do later in the day. Don’t expect I shall be home for Xmas as it’s a fortnight Monday, still if you wish to, get that ring & keep it until I return. Wonder how long I shall be in Blighty before going to France again as all old crocks are being sent back & this lad does not look ill at all. We are allowed out here from 2 pm – 4 pm now, so I shall have a look around Brum when I get the chance. Hope Dad is keeping well & still busy & how is Ethel getting on at bus:? Has Mr Cornish gone to the front yet? The weather here is wet but I think it will clear up shortly, what is it like at home?

Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your Affect Son
Jack

 

4 Dec 1916 After a break in letters we find Jack recuperating in Birmingham

The Hermitage
Solihull
nr Birmingham

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter with PO & stamps yesterday many thanks for same. I’m still going strong & keeping my pecker up. Some time this week I’m back to the Southern [1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham]  Will let you know  [              ]. The weather here is very cold & windy, what is it like at home? Hope Dad is still well and keeping busy. How is Ethel getting on at bus & at home. [— letter later.] Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son

7 Oct 1916 I’m still going strong

Mason Ward
VAD Hosp
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
Was pleased to receive your letter this morning, but sorry you had not heard me as I wrote you a letter either Tuesday or Wednesday acknowledging receipt of badge & yesterday I sent a P.C. & photograph in an envelope so you should have received them by now. I’m still going strong. Heard from Harold today his wound has broken down & he is going back to Tooting. Pat is going A1 heard from him a few days ago. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son
Jack

8 July 1916 The Big Tent, Newton Abbot, V.A.D. Hospital

8 July 1916 pg1
The Big Tent
Newton Abbot
V.A.D Hosp

Dear Mother & Father
A few lines to let you know I’m still existing. I arrived here yesterday afternoon after a lot of travelling. We went over the top last Saturday at Gommecourt Wood & [district] it turned out that our Div 56th & 46th had to make a bluff. We took first three lines of trenches & after being in them over 12 hours in a counter attack fresh Prussian and Bavarian troops relieved us of them. In the morning 10 o’clock I got a bullet through the lower jaw pushing it a trifle & in the evening 8 o’clock when retiring I got a wound in left forearm & a big piece blown out of my right thigh. I had to [wait ] in the German [wire] for two hours after [that] & [then] I [got] down to the dressing station. Am still feeling pretty rotten can’t sleep & can’t eat any solid stuff. Will you send me some stamps 1/2d &c & writing material soon [     ] writing longer letter when I feel better. The [whole?] of the  [two?] Divs are almost wiped out. I think I’m the only one left of 14 in the part of trench where I was I’m lucky. If Chris Williams is in this part of the world for goodness sake don’t let her know I’m here. Cheer ho!  all & kind regards to neighbours. Love to all.  Your affect Son Jack.

 



14 Apr 1916 Have not heard anything about my leave yet

No 58 Grenadiers
L.R.B.

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter today, glad to hear all are well at home. I’m still in the best of health & enjoying life more or less.

The weather is very unsettled still plenty of rain with intermediate periods of sunshine. Have not heard anything about my leave yet, still living in hopes of getting it soon. Hope you are looking after the garden it should begin to look smart very soon as spring is well in. Hope Dad is still keeping fit & as cheerful as usual.
Will write again shortly.
Kind regards to all neighbours & love to all at home.

Your affect Son
Jack
14 Apr 1916 00514 Apr 1916 pg2006

26 Jan 1916 … there is already plenty of mud & water about here

No 58 B Section
Grenadier Co
LRB

My Dear Mother & Father
Just a few lines to let you know I’m still well & in the trenches. We came up last night & do a week in front line & reserve. Had a little rain today hope it will clear up very soon as there is already plenty of mud & water about here. How is Harold looking up & what does he think of this game? Hope Dad is still busy & in the best of health. I will write and thank Mr Lidell for cigs &c shortly: by the way did I ever send you a letter for Mrs L telling her about parcel? Hope Ethel is still alright & getting on well at bus: also the piano. Will write again soon so hoping this will find you all well with love to all.

I remain
Your affect Son
Jack
26 Jan 1916 024

10 Jan 1916 What do the Derby men think of things now…

No 58 B Section
Grenadier Co
1st LRB

My Dear Mother & Father,
A few lines while I have the time to spare. The weather here is keeping fine hope it will continue so for the next week as we are going up to the trenches for another turn. My feet are alright haven’t had any trouble with them yet, at least not more than having them numbed for short periods with the cold. How is the garden looking up now, & is the hay fit for cutting yet? Should like to get home for a bit, expect I shall get leave some day with luck. What do the Derby men think of things now, any pleased about it? Tell Mr Hudson I’ll write as soon as poss & give my kind regards to him also Mrs & the children. Will write again soon. Hoping this will find you all well, with love to Ethel & yourselves.

I remain
Your Affect Son
Jack
10 Jan 1916022

6 & 7 Jan 1916 Field Post Cards

Field Service Post Card
I am quite well.
I have received your letter dated 3.1.16
Letter follows at first opportunity. Jack
6 Jan 1916002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Field Service Post Card
I am quite well.
I have received your letter dated Regd.
Letter follows at first opportunity. Jack
7 Jan 1916001

4 Jan 1916 … the Battalion comes out of the trenches tonight

No 58 B Section
Grenadier Co
LRB

My Dear Mother & Father
Just a few lines to let you know I’m still keeping A1. I came away from the school yesterday & the Battalion comes out of the trenches tonight. A few of us are helping to build huts until the boys come out of the trenches & we are under canvas. Haven’t heard from Paula lately suppose she’s still alive &c. I hear the 3rd Batt is going to Salisbury what a rotten hole to go to eh! Give my kind regards to Teddy and neighbours. Hope everything is OK at home & that Dad is still busy. Love to Ethel & selves and hoping this will find you all well.

I remain
Your affect Son
Jack