21 Sept 1915 … the last few days I’ve played cricket & footer

No 58 B Co

Dear Mother and Father
A few lines to let you know I’m still keeping fit & in the best of spirits. The weather here is grand & the last few days I’ve played cricket & footer. Will you ask Conny to give you

21 Sep 1915

21 Sep 1915

Harold’s and Charlie’s address as I want to write them. Had another letter from Flip yesterday & one from Uncle Will.  I’ve shifted a bit farther up since I last wrote you. Flip tells me he has to wear smoked glasses now, rather rotten luck eh! Hope everything is going alright at home & that all are well. Will you send me each week if poss the Penny Pic, Tit Bits & the Penny Mag, just wrap them up as a newspaper & they’ll come out for about 2d out here they cost 2 ½- 3d each.  Love to all

Your affectionate Son

29 Dec 1914 – The Christmas Truce

29 Dec 1914 - The Christmas Truce

29 Dec 1914 – The Christmas Truce

No 58 No 2 Co 5 Platoon
British Exp Force

Dear Mother & Father
Was delighted to receive your letters & parcel.  The apples nuts choc socks &c were fine. I have not received your other parcel containing biscuits, stuff you could not get in the other parcel, but I suppose it is in the post. We were in the trenches Xmas eve and the night previous & in reserve in the breastworks [a type of WW1 trench] in the woods on Xmas day. While we were in the trenches we could here the Germans singing and also here music, some of them can speak fine English. On Xmas day our tommies & the Germans were walking about between the trenches & smoking with each other quite pally. It was a treat to hear no rifle fire all day. It is rumoured that the Dublins* are playing the Germans at footer today. We have had Princess Mary’s gift:- a nice little box containing 20 cigs & some tobacco & also a pipe. Another present we had from the 2nd Batt LRB: – letter case containing this paper, a small tin of butter ½lb a tin of condensed milk and a tin of cacao au lait & a handkerchief. Had a fine day Xmas under the circs and had a piece of pudding. Had another pipe from the “Daily Chronicle”. I am writing on PC now as space here is short. Shall be going up to the trenches again in a day or two. Cheer up all. Love to everyone.

Your affectionate Son

*Jack refers to the Dublins playing footer with the Germans. He is most likely referring to the 2nd Royal Dublin Fusliers who were also in Ploegsteert Wood which is where the LRB were entrenched. The Brigade war diary records the following for the 25 December 1914: Freezing – very quiet day. Practically no shooting.

Listen to a first hand account of the Christmas Truce  (the link will take you to the Imperial War Museum website)