18 Oct 1916 Had my gold stripe given me today

Mason Ward
VAD Hosp
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter this morning pleased to hear all are well. Uncle Will & Auntie Nell came up this afternoon & we went for a drive round the country. Uncle reckons Dad could get on nicely at Dartmouth why don’t you both think about it if it’s any good? I’m jolly pleased to hear that Jim Etheridge is alive & hope he’ll get on alright. Mrs Johnson got her share of bad luck if anybody does. Had my gold stripe given me today, there is an order out now for all men to be issued with them in hospital. Hope Ethel is getting on alright at business & keeping fit. Thank her for writing will write soon.

Kind regards to all neighbours & love to all at home.

Your affect Son
Jack
Congrats to Flip

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

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

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

8 Sept 1916 We all went to Teignmouth Wednesday afternoon

Ward No 2
VAD Hosp
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter this morning. I’m glad to hear all are keeping well at home. The weather here has been fine of late only hope it will keep so for a few weeks. We all went to Teignmouth Wednesday afternoon.  Went there and back in motorcars I had tea there. Yesterday I went for a motordrive round Torquay & Paignton out for about 2 ½ hours. My jaw is still fixed up but going on alright. Give my kind regards to Jack Herbert & his Mrs when they come over. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel and selves.

Your affect Son
Jack

 

22 Aug 1916 My mouth will not be opened for a fortnight or so yet.

No 2 Ward
VAD Hosp.
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father,
Received your letters & card this morning, pleased to hear everything is A1. That piece that came out of my jaw is a part of the jaw not lead. I got another small splinter out yesterday & there is another piece working out now. My mouth will not be opened for a fortnight or so yet. The leg is getting on fine but I don’t want it to get well too soon. Have had some fine weather here lately & I think today is going to be a scorcher. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to all.

Your affect Son
Jack
23 Aug 1916001

13 August 1916 My face is more like its natural self …

Ward No 2
V.A.D. Hosp
Newton Abbot
Devon

My Dear Mother & Father,
You’ll be pleased to hear I’m still going strong & with an appetite as good as ever. Had a few showers here yesterday & today & now the atmosphere is quite cool. [Rolly] Jones wrote the other day he’s very cheerful. I only wish I had my ticket the same as he has. Hope Dad is still busy & also keeping fit. You need not send those magazines you speak about as I’ve seen most of the mags for this month. Don’t forget my pipe as I’m looking forward to a decent smoke. Let me know when you & Dad are coming down & I’ll get another pass. My face is more like its natural self now, only hope it will keep like it. Will ring off now with kind regard to neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son
Jack

13 July 1916 I’m feeling much better now to a week ago.

The Big Tent
V.A.D. Hosp
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letters of 11th and 13th pleased to hear all are well. Uncle Will came to see me this afternoon gave me quite a surprise. The weather here is grand hope it will remain so for some time. I’m feeling much better now to a week ago. Enclosed you’ll find your Railway pass. Had a letter from Fatty today & one from Uncle Ted yesterday. Have you given Paula my address? Will write again soon. Have to ring off now my leg is going to be dressed. Kind regards to all. Love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son
Jack
12 July 1916022

 

12 July 1916 … ought to be well in about six months

The Big Tent
V.A.D. Hospital
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
You’ll be pleased to hear I’m still going strong, ought to be well in about six months. My jaw is being fixed up so I hope it will set well as at present the front teeth won’t close together nearer than half an inch. Had a letter from Mr Hudson today, he tells me the Firm has put another 15% years salary into Fund for last year, rather good eh! By the way are funds alright at home if so should like a small wrist watch luminous & strap complete, I think they can be got for 10/-6 still will leave it to you anyway get a good timekeeper. You need not send tooth brush as I’ve had one given me, but I should like razor brush for shaving & a comb soon as poss. Hope Dad is still busy & keeping fit. How is Ethel getting on at home also at bus, well I hope! Give my kind regards to all neighbours.

Love to Ethel & selves.  Hoping this will find all well.

I remain
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.