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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15 August 1916 Shall be able to walk about with only a stick shortly

Ward no 2
VAD Hosp,
Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father,
Received your letter today also pipe &c many thanks. I’ve just smoked a pipe of tobacco it’s grand after not having smoked one for nearly seven weeks. The weather here is fair now, rather showery at times. Shall be able to walk about with only a stick shortly. Had a nice letter from Uncle Will Haniford today, he seemed rather pleased with me for writing him. Let me know when Ethel is coming down. By the way, I bet she won’t be very pleased with people telling her she’s like me, after she’s seen my phiz. I shall not want any more money for some time as its impossible for me to spend it at present. Mr Hudson is going to send you the “Bulletin” with the a/c in. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.

Your affect Son
Jack
15 Aug 1916001

10 August 1916 By the way should like a small light pipe

V.A.D. Hospital Newton Abbot

My Dear Mother & Father
Received your letter this morning glad to hear all are well. My jaw will have to be fastened up for about 3 more weeks. By the way should like a small light pipe. I can enjoy a pipe of tobacco better than cigs. When is Ethel coming down tell her to go easy on the hob nails. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves. Thanks for stamps. Hope Dad is still A1 & enjoying life. Cheer ho!

Your affect Son
Jack
10 Aug 1916 030

 

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.

 



7 July 1916 I am in the British Ambulance Train …

Post Card

Dear Mother & Father
I am in the British Ambulance Train in England on my way to Hospital at Newton Abbot.
I have returned wounded bullet through lower jaw, wound in left forearm, piece out of right thigh.
I will let you know my address when I reach Hospital.  I hope you are all well.

Yours affect son Jack

No. 58 Rank  Rflm Name J. Widdicombe
1st LRB Regt
7 July 1916016

28 Feb 1916 Yesterday we marched 14 miles in the snow

No 58 B Section
Grenadier Co
LRB

My Dear Mother & Father
Just a few lines to let you know I’m quite well & cheerful. Have not been able to write during the last three to four days as we have been on the move, and we have received no letters either for that period. Yesterday we marched 14 miles in the snow, it was a devil of a trip either up to the ankles in the snow or sliding about in the slush. Have had plenty of snow over here during the last week & quite a lot of fun out of it. I received your parcel safely many thanks. Have not received cigs from Mr L yet. Will write again as soon as poss. Love to Ethel & selves & hoping this will find you all well.

I remain

Your affect Son
Jack
28 Feb 1916032

 

23 Feb 1916 … got quite a lot of fun out of it with the boys

No 58 B Section
Grenadier Co
LRB

My Dear Mother & Father
Just a few lines to let you know I’m still OK. I have not had a letter from you for two days but hope to receive one this evening. Received Mrs Liddell’s parcel yesterday, shall write & thank her tomorrow. Had a fall of snow here yesterday, got quite a lot of fun out of it with the boys. Leave is going on, but very slowly so don’t know quite when I shall get mine. Hope Dad is still busy & in the best of health also Eth & yourself. Kind regards to neighbours & love to all at home.

Your affect Son
Jack
23 Feb 1916031

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

26 Dec 1915 … expect Bubbles made the place a bit noisy

Have just received Ethel and Teddy’s letters also yours. Rather sad about both. Went to Communion Monday.

No. 58 B Section
Grenadier Co
LRB

My Dear Mother & Father
A few lines to let you know I’m still keeping A1. I had a decent time yesterday went with three pals & had a fine dinner in the evening & afterwards went to the Cinema. Received your letter yesterday in which you mention Mrs [Hem   ] death quite a shock [to me] as I have not received that letter you sent Sunday with a few lines from Teddy & Ethel. Hope all at home had a decent time Xmas expect Bubbles made the place a bit noisy. Is Dad still busy and keeping well? Have not received Mrs Liddells parcel yet, but will let you know if I do. Will write again soon. Cheer ho! & love to all at home.
Your affect Son Jack
26 Dec 1915 013

 

23 Nov 1915 … after 9 miles marching over the rottenest roads in Europe we arrived at Poperinghe

No 58 B Co
5 Platoon
LRB

My Dear Mother & Father
Just a few lines to let you know I’m still A1. We shifted yesterday from our old billets & after 9 miles marching over the rottenest roads in Europe we arrived at Poperinghe [Belgium] (Teddy knows this place) & we continue our journey to a place about 6 miles south of here in a day or two. The bombers are billeted in an empty house. I’m in the front bedroom rather a comfortable room with blinds still fixed so we can kid ourselves we’re at home when we turn in at night. There were more biscuits in the last box than the other one & they were jolly fine too. Hope you’re getting along alright at home & with plenty of funds. Don’t let Mum make herself ill with too much work over those swaddies though at the same time having something to do she’ll be able to forget that I’m out here. Hope Mrs Paterson is alright now tell her I’ll write when I get time. Kind regards to all neighbours & love to Ethel & selves.  Hoping this will find you all well.

I remain

Your affect Son
Jack.

P.S. kind regards to [Flip] and thank him for the eggs and handkerchiefs.

23 Nov 1915 pg2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Within the same envelope is another letter:

For Mr Hudson
Sorry I forgot the spontaneous part of the combustion re the firing of the barn. Kind regards to Mrs H the children and yourself.

Yours Sincerely
Jack.

P.S Will write as soon as poss
23 Nov 1915 pg4