31st August 1917

Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534, (Band Hut) 100 T.R.B., Albuhera Brks, Stanhope Lines, Aldershot
Dear Emmie

Thanks for letter which I received this afternoon. I must say it is quite true what Mabel says. The reason why I did not want you to know at the time was because I thought it would hurt your feelings asking W.L. and not you to get it. I hope you understand; I think you will. I did not mean to keep it from you long; you know I don’t keep much from you. I do no remember what W.L. said previous to me joining up. What was it? I am going down town this evening to try to get your china and I hope I succeed. Thank you for Mr Warder’s address once again I don’t know what you must think of me only I found that I hadn’t got it in any of your letters I have with me. It has been very fine weather today: I wish it had been like this last Sunday. A lot of the boys of 18yrs 3 mths are being transferred into the 98th T.R.B’s. None of the Band have got to go. I had a letter from F Champ today and he said “Excuse me if the address is longer than the letter”. Rather funny I thought. I had a game of billiards last night and beat the chap by 40. I am coming on. I got told off by the adjutant this morning for wearing that “fancy belt” as he called it, on parade. We are going to be inspected every morning now so we will have to make up smart. Well my Dear I will close now hoping that this letter sets your mind at ease.

With Best Love Will xx

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30th August 1917

16, Tiber Street, Kings Cross
Dear Will

Am pleased you received the watch safely. I thought the promptness would surprise you. Now I have got something on my mind. When I told Mabel Will L. had sent you a pipe, she thought it funny he did not say anything to her about it, so when she mentioned to him, this is what he says: “Oh, I did not say anything to you, as Son did not want Emmie to know” It hurts me very much when I think of this, & I ask you, “is it true?”. I cannot say any more on the subject now, as I want to hear from you first, but it keeps coming into my thoughts, well, & I cannot tell you the rest. Do you remember what W.L. said to you before you joined up?

You seem to be having a very lively time, & that Mr Gibbs rises rather early to perform his jokes, but as long as you enjoy yourselves & forget the bitter side, that is all that matters at present. I am thankful you are able to have a good time. I shall appreciate the china very much if you manage to get it, sorry you did not like the expression but I did not want you to run about too much after it, especially as you say the least bit of exertion now overcomes you, do not grow lazy though. Mr Warder’s address once again, 9, Lysander Grove, Highgate, N. 

Well dear Will I do not feel I can write any more somehow my thoughts keep wandering to what I mentioned before, I feel surprised & yet – well I will not say any more, but will close with love from

Emmie x

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29th August 1917

Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534., (Band Room) 100 T.R.B., Albuhera Barracks, Stanhope Lines, Aldershot
Dear Emmie

I thank you very much for my watch. I was surprised at getting it so quickly. The weather is very bad here; the ground has hardly been dry since Sunday. I am sorry I cannot be with you when you are lonely; you know how I would like to. What do you mean about troubling about that goss I don’t quite like that expression. I have not had a chance to go down this week yet but I will have a good try Friday. I have been so stiff after that jumping that I could hardly walk. A little exertion in this life seems to overcome me very quickly. I went to the concert practise last night and they have given me a new song called “King of the Sea” and I think it is as good as any I have. I think we are going to have our photographs taken tonight so I hope it keeps fine. I am at last thinking of writing to Mr Warder but I don’t know if I have his address now. Charlie Gibbs got up about four o’clock this morning and sewed the legs of a boys pants up; the same boy is just sewing Gibb’s towel to his blanket. I hope to make up for lost time when I get out of the Army so please don’t take anybody on hire. I now close

With Best Love Will xx


28th August 1917

E. Ash, 16, Tiber Street, York Road, Kings’ Cross, London, N1
Dear Will

In answer to yours received this morning, I do not think I could have looked at the wrong window, in fact I looked at them all but some were so dirty, perhaps that was the reason. It is terrible weather here, raining all day & so cold, it is reminding me of the winter & I am picturing to myself what the long winter evening will be like this year, especially Sats. When I have no one to take me out. I shall have to have someone on hire for the winter I’m afraid. It is very good of you to trouble about the Goss, I am sorry you have had to make two journeys though, however do not bother further if you fail the second time. I feel rather sorry for the boy who had a dipping, but still if he considered it “some sport” as you did, it was alright. I only hope the weather clears up before next Sunday so that you can have a little better time than last Sunday. I worked until 7’oclock last night as Mr C. goes away for a fortnight next week so there has got to be a big push somewhere in the work. Well I will conclude now.

With Best Love Emmie x
PS I gave the photo to your Pa, as instructed, & he guessed right first time, Morris.


27th August 1917

Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534., (Band Hut) 100 T.R.B., Albuhera Barracks, Stanhope Lines, Aldershot
Dear Emmie

I received your letter at 3,o’clock this afternoon; I dare say it got here at the first post but we have been out all day. I am glad to hear you had a good seat going home. I was on the bridge but did not see you this time; I think you must have been looking at the wrong window. I would not have asked you to write if I hadn’t have wanted to know whether you got home alright. This morning the sun was shining brightly and I thought we were going to have a fine day but it turned dull and is now raining. I went into a shop which was open last night to try to get some Goss china but as I expected they did not sell it. I don’t think I have anything to do tonight so I will make another attempt. I am sorry I forgot last time but that does not go to say that I think any the less of you. This morning when we were out we came to a brook, so I said to C. Gibbs “Let’s have a game at jumping across till somebody wins and falls in” so we started the ball roling. Before we had been going at it long one of the boys fell off of the bridge full length in the brook and got soaked through. Some sport! he didn’t laugh though. I don’t think there is any more to say now only that I always want you; so I will conclude

With Best Love Will xx


26th August 1917

16, Tiber St
Dear Will

I arrived at 10’o clock, travelled 1st class, & very comfortable too. I looked out at the bridge & waved but I could not see you at all, were you really there? I could discern other people on the bridge, but failed to find you. You did want to hear if I got home alright didn’t you? Well, excuse briefness but the hour is late,

Love from Emmie,


24th August 1917

16, Tiber St
Dear Will

In answer to yours, I shall be coming on Sunday if the weather is fine. It is very dull here to-day & it rained yesterday but I hope the sun will be shining on Sunday. Mother & Bert come home tomorrow, I shall not be sorry either. Will & I stayed at the door watching that lightening until 10.30, most people were out in our street, they seemed quite concerned about it, some said it was signalling & naturally expected trouble, but the papers settled all doubts next day. Maude is away for a fortnight again at Horsham. I am going swimming tonight with another girl at work a Mabel. “Some splash” there will be when we arrive, Excuse this notepaper, but I am writing this at work & beggars cannot be choosers, it is the best I could find, well I have no more to write this time, so I will close, hoping to see you Sunday.

Best love from Emmie xx

(PS It is raining here now.)


23rd August 1917

Bandsman W. Metcalfe 46534, Aldershot
Dear Emmie

Thanks for letter received this afternoon. Have I to wait till 1.p.m. Sunday for to know whether I am to see you or not? I dare say you will be able to let me have a P.C. or something just to set me at ease. Did you see anything of the lightening last night; it lasted from about 9.p.m. last night until after 3 AM. this morning. It was so great that we thought there was a big raid on. Somebody said they had seen a dispatch rider from London and he was supposed to have left London while the raid was in progress. It was quite a relief when we saw by the paper this morning that it was lightning. I shouldn’t think it was very nice being in that cellar, was it? I am glad there was not a raid. They don’t seem to be able to get to London now, but if we go to Felixstowe I reckon we’ll have a lively time. In France we have captured a lot of prisoners and ground and it is supposed to be the best move we have gained out there. I or rather “we” have not taken that theatre stunt on again (excuse my army slang) but I always find pleanty else to do. I should think you would be retireing with that £6,000 but you must be careful not to do the railway company out of too much. I don’t think you need have apologised to the accountant because without mistakes he would not be wanted.  Have not had any innoculations lately and also I have not written to Mr Warder but I will do when I get time. I think Craddock must be in the wire-less what I tried to get in, but somehow I feel as if I am as well off here. The band is being replaced by the orchestra at Officer’s Mess so I will be there tonight. Tomorrow all the band start messing together so I do not know how we will be dining or how much we will get. I am still hoping to see you Sunday. You don’t know how much I want you and another thing, your letters are never too long for me to read. Well! I conclude now, Best Love. Will. xx

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22nd August 1917

16, Tiber St
Dear Will

In answer to yours received this afternoon. Do not say “I suppose I will have to give in to you” there is no need for that, you know I would like to come this week but you must see what I mean. Besides, one week will not make much difference to wait. I do not know yet what you Pa & Ma are going to do, I have asked Mabel several times but she says she does not know, However some of us will be there Sunday, so be at the station in any case, either to meet me or yore Pa & Ma. I am looking forward to come while the nice weather lasts, and if you are moved especially to Felixstowe I shall not be able to come & see you at all, as it is necessary to obtain a passport, have your photo taken & report to the nearest Police Station, Felixstowe being a military town, rather a rigmarole don’t you think, let us hope you will not be sent there or Harwich. We had an air raid warning this morning; The sirens were sounded & all the girls went to the cellar underneath the railway, we stayed there about 1½ hrs. This cellar holds about 200 but it is a dingy hole, it was rather funny, some individual had conceived the idea that it was the wine cellar we were to shelter in, what a surprise we had, it contained, empty ginger beer bottles, dripping bins, cabbages & anything but wine, the only tendency to that was a beery smell, however it is positively safe. Most of the public went to the tubes, “some” excitement you can guess. They did not reach London, but I hear there were a great number over Felixstowe, I do not know if this is correct. Last night there was a Zepp raid over the Lincolnshire coast, they are getting sprightly again. I have not heard the good news from France, tell it me, it is not often we get good news. I am sorry to hear you had such a hard day yesterday, whatever was happening, you seem to get along alright in the concert line, by the way do you play at that theatre still, you have not said anything about it. I do not know if you remember me telling you about a weekly Traffic statement I have to make out every week, but last week I nearly got my notice to quit, it is rather a difficult concocture (?) & somehow I happened to be £6000 out, the statement was signed and passed to the accountants Dept. before it was noticed too, when it came back for correction, I discovered I had entered that amount in the Increase column instead of the decrease column, & hence the amount to much. However alls well that ends well, the matter is forgotten now, but I had to apologise etc. to the gentleman it inconvenienced as it delayed his summary somewhat. I know what I have been going to ask you, have you had any more innoculations lately, & also have you written to Mr Warder? I am going to the Mish. to night. & I feel somehow he will say something of you, so if you have not written, do not forget when you have a little time to spare. You know Craddock, the boy who lives 2 or 3 doors from you, I saw him last night & he does look a swell. I do not know what he is in, but he had a sort of naval uniform, bespattered with Gold Braid, W. Lowry said he had got a commission so I suppose that would mean he was a naval officer, do you think so? Well I have no more to relate at present; I hope you will not get tired reading all my scribble, but I like to tell you all that happens somehow, whether you consider it interesting or not I do not know. I will close now,

Remaining your Emmie, Till the sands of the desert grow cold xx

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21st August 1917

Bandsman. W. Metcalfe. 46534., (Band Hut) 100 T.R.., Albuhera Barracks, Stanhope Lines, Aldershot
Dear Emmie

I did not receive your letter until this afternoon so it took rather longer than expected. I will have to give way to you I suppose but I would like to see you next Sunday. Perhaps Mum will not be coming this week. We had a fair tea at the Officers’ Club on Sunday but we could do with some more when we got back. I do not go every Sunday morning to Communion but I am going next Sunday if I wake early enough. We have had a very hard day today so I feel a bit tired. The is going to be another concert tomorrow night and I am playing in the orchestra. I think that leave is starting soon. I do not know whether it is four or six days I hope it is the latter. I am glad to hear the good news from France; we were told when we were on parade this morning; if it continues the war may be over soon. A boy has just come in and is saying that he has heard that we are not going to get leave until we have left Aldershot. I thought I would let you know the worst so as if it happens it will not come so much of a shock.

I have no more to say now only that the weather keeps very fine so I now conclude

From your Loving Boy Will. xx

P.S. Please excuse scribble as the light is bad.

P.S.S. Please tell me if you don’t like this paper

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