17th January 1918

Dear Emmie

We are having some very exciting times of late, this morning we had to get full marching order ready and we have been standing by all day. I think we are going somewhere by train tonight. We are taking a blanket each with us. I will have my photo’ taken next week if possible I am afraid it is imposs this week. I have heard of “Brewster’s Milliions” I think it is a sketch is it? I hope you enjoy “The Boy” on Sat, I wish I were coming with you. I went out with the band on the last route march but that is the last time; I and all the other band boys have got to do exactly the same as the others now but we can play in the band on Church Parades Sundays. That is a very good joke about chewing Chin Chon. It made the boys laugh. The snow is very thick here and we had a snow fight with another company this afternoon and beat them back every time.

Tea Time

Tea is finished we had kippers and I could hear them at a good distance. I have settled down a little bit now but I am not over happy. I havn’t drawn my gloves yet but what I have seen of them they are not of very good quality. C.G. had a hole in his 2nd. day he wore them. I know you do want me to write even if I have not much time and you can’t say you don’t can you dear? I went out yesterday afternoon to an “At Home” at a Baptist Church where Desmond is organist and had a fairly good time. Free tea etc. The paper I am enclosing is a game. All these sentences are written down as one paragraugh with no punctuations and somebody who has not seen it before has to read it right through putting in their own punctuation getting a rather disasterous result, such as: “From th frying pan into the fire you put the baby”. The winner only made two mistakes. I went in a hat trimming competition and came third. Well my dear I fear I must conclude hoping we get to bed tonight and that this stunt is washed out. We are supposed to be going somewhere to calm some strikes this is a lively life

Good Night

With Best Love From Will xx


17th January 1918

Colchester. Thurs
Dear Emmie

Perhaps by now you have heard of the General Mobilisation. We have our overcoat, blanket ground sheet and one of every thing on our back and I think we are out for a few days somewhere. I hear we are going somewhere by train so this time we mean business. You will know what has happened if you dont get a letter from me for a day or two. I don’t want to be out many nights because the snow is six inches thick. Will close now.

With Best Love From Will xx



15th January 1918

Dear Emmie

I am very sorry my letter made you so sad but I will have to take my chance the same as everybody else does. I know how you must feel, I get very despondent sometimes myself. Cheer up! There’s a good time coming. I went to see East Lynn because there was nothing else to do not to cheer me up. It wasn’t played very well so it did not touch me right to the heart. I hope you get on well with your Esperanto and “Miozot” [?] and I know you will do that. I was told by C.G. to read that Chapter of Prov: and as I thought it was alright I recomended it for you to read; I thought those two verses were the best so I chose them especially. I havn’t time now to explain them because I am playing with the Orchestra this evening. I havn’t even time to get a hair cut. The boys who havn’t had leave for six months are being picked out first and of course that is only fair. I hope this letter makes you feel brighter although it is scribbled. I had not really time to write this but I know I have wronged you in the past by putting you off for other things. I hope you understand my meaning. I nearly got into trouble last night for being out without a late pass but I have one tonight and all the week for we have a long job on again. We are not going to play the band on route marches any more because we have to get used to full pack we are only going out with the band on church parades now. I must conclude now as time presses

With Love

Yours Ever Will xx   real ones


13th January 1918

Bandsman W Metcalfe, Colchester
Dearest Emmie

I havn’t your letter to hand so you must excuse me if I forget to answer questions you may have asked. I havn’t settled down again yet after that leave; I am quite home sick. I played the organ at church this morning and had dinner out; I am getting tired of army life and will not be able to express my joy when I come back to you for good. I have one consolation knowing that you pray for me night and day; but if anything was to happen to me you know you must always pray “Thy will be done”. I am going to Mr Behr’s to tea this afternoon; it all helps to while away the time. I hope we get someone at the Mission who will liven things up a bit I don’t think I would like to leave it although it is such a small place. A new system of leave has started so I don’t suppose I will see London for a couple of months. If the weather improves you will have to come down one Sunday because our first draught goes away next Sunday and I dare say my next leave will be final. I have a presentament that I will not be out there very long and I hope I am right. I do not want to depress you with all this talk so i will change the subject. I went to see East Lyn last night and it wasn’t bad for a small town I have never read the book but I think the play must have been cut short. I was on “coal fatigue” yesterday afternoon whereas I generally go to the pictures but half way through it I dodged it with C.G. and I don’t think anyone was wiser. Our Company has been issued with gloves but I havn’t got mine yet. The boys were also issued with identification discs while I was on leave so I have one or two more articles to come to complete my kit. Have you read Proverbs 31, 10th – 31st verse about “Lemuel’s praise of a good wife”. Verses 29 & 30 is my little message to you. Well my love I will now end my epistle.

With Much Love

From Yours Ever Will xxx


10th January 1918

Bandsman W M. 46534, Colchester
Dear Emmie

This time last night I was thinking of coming back to Colchester much to my regret. I couldn’t eat much today I didn’t seem to have the appetite. C.G. was very upset on coming back this is his first leave since his four days. All six days leave has been stopped now so I must consider myself lucky. When I have finished writing this letter I will not know what to do with myself. The rumour is, that we are to be shifted to St Albans I hope it is true but I doubt it. Perhaps I could then see you more often. I can not bare to think that you are so lonely in London, but pray that I may have a quick return to you and you will make me feel a little happier. We went on a route march this morning and I have been at orchestra practice this afternoon but I would give up ever playing another note again to be back with you for good. The job that I was coming back to finished up yesterday so I suppose I will have to go on parade tomorrow and do some drill. Well my love I will close hoping to write more next time and hear from you soon.

With Very Best Love

From Your Will xxxx