26 Dec 1916 Each man had a stocking Xmas morn

Ward B16
1st Southern
Birmingham

My Dear Mother & Father
Many thanks for Xmas card received this morning. Had a fairly decent time yesterday, plenty of grub & in the evening there was a concert in the ward but I did not worry about it. Had a card from Alice Philpot with yours, I shall have to write her shortly. Each man had a stocking Xmas morn containing card, handkerchief packet of cigs, cig case, pencil, cake of soap & an apple & orange. The weather here is keeping fine rather cold though. Hope [ald] will have a decent time on furlough, only wish I could have mine with him. Have only had about four Xmas cards & one or two letters lately so shall not have a lot to answer. Hope you all had a decent time at home, wish I’d been there, should have had a glorious [drunk].  Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son
Jack

P.S. The watch is always stopping & gains & loses in turn anything from ½ – ¾ of an hour every hour or so might send it home & you can raffle it or lose it or perhaps change it.

 

19 Dec 1916 Have had a good fall of snow here

Ward B16
1st Southern
Birmingham

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter last evening, pleased to hear all are well. Thanks very much for [   ]. Shall write again to Pay Office if they don’t send my cash soon. Have had a good fall of snow here during the last few days & it’s still coming down. Will send letter when I get some news. Hope Dad is still busy and enjoying life. Have not heard from Teddy since I last wrote him. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to all at home.

Your affect Son
Jack x

15 Dec 1916 … finished up by kissing a number of the lads, I was unlucky

Ward B16
1st Southern Genl
Birmingham

My Dear Mother & Father
Received you letter this morning pleased to hear all are well. You can get the ring you suggested as you know more about them than I do. Had a fine concert here this afternoon about the best that has been here. There were a few of the artists from Razzle dazzle, an American singer, five little American girls in another turn & there were several other good artistes, one being a French piece of goods, she sang pretty good English & was encored about three times & finished up by kissing a number of the lads, I was unlucky. Most of these people appear at the Grand Theatre Birmingham. The Dentist came round this morning and enquired whether I played cards & drank beer – now do I – because he’s getting up a whist drive and [beans] for xmas for the jaw cases, I guess we’ll enjoy ourselves this trip. I’ve got to write to the Firm to let them know that I’m here for Xmas as they’re sending special parcels to the troops. If you get anything I might fancy & you can sport it send it along for Xmas. Hope Dad is still keeping A1 also busy & how is Miss Widdicombe? Will write again when I get any news. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son
Jack x

 

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

23 Dec 1915 Went to the Pictures last night …

No address

23 Dec 1915 pg1My Dear Mother & Father
A few lines to let you know I’m still keeping A1. Many thanks for parcel everything OK. I’ve got heaps of stuff don’t quite know what to do with all of it. The weather here is inclined to be wet & cold. Hope Dad is busy & in the pink. How is Ethel keeping & getting on at the shop? I had a nice parcel from Teddy. We had Xmas pudding today. I feel very heavy about the lower regions. Haven’t received Mrs Liddells’ parcel yet hope to in a day or so. Don’t forget to have a good time Xmas as I’m going to. Went to the Pictures last night & tonight I hope to go to B Company concert.

Well, cheer ho & kind regards to neighbours. Love to all at home & with best wishes for a Happy Xmas & a bright New Year.

I remain
Your affect Son
Jack

P.S. Will you forward enclosed I’ve lost the address.

20 Dec 1915 Keep this letter to yourselves …

No 58 Grenadier Co

My Dear Mother & Father,
A few lines to let you know I’m still keeping alright & cheerful. My feet get very cold occasionally but up to now I’ve had no trouble with them. I, with some other bombers came up to the trenches Sunday night 12th Dec & we’re still here & do not expect to get out till tomorrow  We are holding over ¼ mile of front & reserve trench about four miles south of Ypres & 1½ north St. Eloi a rather nice spot.  IDT.

Early Sunday morning the Germans attacked up at Hooge on our left, the affair started about 3.30am and the Artillary and rifle fire continue until daylight about 7:30am. The attack was repulsed easily by the artillery. The Guns were going all the day more or less making a devil of a noise. It was a fine sight watching the busting shells & the flares going up. The attack was followed up after gas had been used, also a great number of weeping shells were used. We got a very slight touch of the fumes from the weeping shells and tears came to the eyes. Hope funds are alright at home. How is Ethel getting on, well I hope? I’m glad mother’s cold is gone & that she is now alright. Enclosed you’ll find some Honesty flower which I picked in the village of Voormizeele [Voormezeele] behind the trenches, keep it for luck. Keep this letter to yourselves as I’m having it posted in England by a pal on leave. Well write again soon. Shall I write & thank Miss Millward (Singer) for sending parcel. Cheer ho & kind regards to all neighbours.  Love & best wishes for a Happy Xmas & no worrying about me.

Your affectionate Son
Jack

20 Dec 1915 pg3009

8 Dec 1915 All being well we should be out of the trenches for Xmas …

No 58 Grenadier Co
B Section
LRB8 Dec 1915pg1004

 

 

 
My Dear Mother and Father just a few lines to let you know I’m keeping A1. I received both parcels safely yesterday, breeches biscuits salmon socks &c many thanks. Had a fine hot bath yesterday & a change of underclothes. You might send the People out each week as we get no news here now goodness knows why. We had a few casualties up the line while there. Hope Dad is busy & keeping well. Thank Eth [his sister Ethel] for her letter to me tell her I’ll write someday.

All being well we should be out of the trenches for Xmas that would be rather good. If you are short of cash stop sending me parcels for a time & don’t forget you can use any money of mine you’ve banked. Give my kind regards to all neighbours. Love to Ethel & selves & don’t worry about me I’ll be alright. Hoping this will find Ma free from that cold she had & that all are well.

I remain
Your affect Son
Jack
8 Dec 1915pg2005