1 June 1917 Some are real crocks.

No 58 G Co LRB
Aisne Barracks Farnboro

My Dear Mother & Father
At last a few lines to let you know I’m still alive and as chirpy as ever. Sorry I have not written lately, but there is no news of interest & you know I’m in a safe place here so there is no need to worry about me. Reg Paul left here this morning for 4 days leave & intends coming to see you if time permits. Have not heard from the girl for nearly a week, expect she is rather busy. A big draft of unfit (A3) men leaves here in a few days, in fact I think all Regiments are sending them over yonder to get fit & up the line again. Some are real crocks.The weather is more or less bright now, Hope it will remain so for a few months. I’m still on my same old job, get very fed up at times, to be candid if it were not for all at home & the girl I’d ask to go back tomorrow, as the same old game gets on ones nerves & this War appears to be likely to hang on for some time, & if one goes over yonder it’s sure to be one way or the other fairly quickly. Don’t get wind up over this as I shall not go until sent. Hope the house is finished, guess it will look alright by the time I arrive home & don’t forget the garden. Well, cheer ho kind regards to all neighbours & love to Eth & selves. Trusting this finds all well.

Your affect Son

Jack

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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

14 Dec 1916 I was up in the Salient now I’m safe in Blighty

no return address

My Dear Mother and Father
Expect by now you’ve received my letter. Will you when you send my ring enclose the watch with it as the latter will be useful now I get out afternoons. Sorry I shall not be able to be home for Xmas anyway enjoy yourself as last Xmas I was up in the Salient now I’m safe in Blighty. Am waiting for Ethel’s letter. Kind regards to neighbours & love to all at home.

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

27 Oct 1916 …I’m still alive & kicking

 

Mason Ward
VAD Hosp
Newton Abbot
Devon

My Dear Mother & Father
At last a few lines to let you know I’m still alive & kicking. The weather here is horrible & has been for the last few weeks, nothing but rain all the time. Hope Dad is still fit & busy. How is Ethel getting on now dying to see dear Ernie I suppose?What do you think about this phiz of mine, is it better than the other one?  My jaw is still about the same I’m having massage for it. I received 1 alright. I told you last time I wrote. Hope all are keeping well at home & that everything is going A1. Kindest regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect son
Jack

P.S. Hope Mrs Paterson is alright now, give her and Mr also fam. my best wishes.

 

 

20 Oct 1916 Still going strong but not too swift

Mason Ward
VAD Hosp
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
Still going strong but not too swift. Haven’t had any letters today so shall expect a few tomorrow. Hope Dad is still well & keeping busy. How is Ethel getting on at bus: & at the piano. By the way she never sent me the notes to [ ] on. Should like Ern Millest’s address if you can get it. Hope Mr & Mrs Hudson & family are all [well] also Mr and Mrs Laurence & fam, give them my kindest regards. You can include Marjory in the programme if you wish! The weather has settled down during the last few days & is now rather cold, quite nice though. Trusting this will find all well with kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

I remain

Your affect Son
Jack

11 Oct 1916 … getting quite fat I’m told

Mason Ward
VAD Hosp
Newton Abbot
S Devon

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter this morning, pleased to hear all are well. I’m still going A1 getting quite fat I’m told. How do you think these photographs are looking, anything like your humble. If you think they are good & would like some more send me a little cash I’ll get some. Thank Ethel for her letter to me & tell her I’ll write her one of these times. Have not heard from Mr Hudsen lately suppose he & the family are alright. Should like 2/6 if you can spare before Saturday & then you needn’t send any as you suggested. By the way you know you are always welcome to my cash there is no need to ask me when you want it. Cheer ho! & kind regards to all neighbours. Hoping this will find all well.

I remain
Your affect Son
Jack

1 Oct 1916 … managed to slide in at 12.30 without getting spotted

Mason Ward
VAD Hosp
Newton Abbot
Devon

My Dear Mother & Father
Hope you got home safely & found everything ok. Is Ethel alright should like to know. Had a nice letter from Mrs Paterson today tell her I’ll write soon. Go down & see her when you get time she been laid up lately.

I’m still getting along A1. Had a nice walk this morning managed to slide in at 12.30 without getting spotted. Hope you both enjoyed yourselves during the week, don’t expect Dad feels like work. Well cheer ho! & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son
Jack

16 August 1916 I can manage to get about with a walking stick now …

V.A.D. Hospital, Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter today. I can manage to get about with a walking stick now but my leg will be some time before it’s healed up. Am expecting Bulletins [sometime] glad to know you got yours. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to all.

Your affect Son
Jack
16 Aug 1916001