18th July 1918

Dear Emmie

In answer to yours of the 10th inst. we are having fairly good weather here but for a few thunderstorms. I hear old Fritz has started his push without much success as yet and I hope he is kept back and then perhaps the tables will turn. Do you get any allowance made for your railway fares to Ilfracombe. I hope you enjoy yourselves there but you have two months to wait yet. I will answer your big “Why?” as soon as poss but not in this letter. My knees are better now thanks; does sound funny does it not? I should think Bert felt highly honoured being the only guest of Mr Ferraro’s. Which Tarrantella are you going to play, you have three; one in the ‘Star’ in G minor I think, one in another book I gave you, and one in A flat by Stephen Hellar: it is the latter one I suppose. I havn’t been able to write you for two days. Yesterday we went to Corps Headquarters to play at Officers’ Club; it was quite a days outing. We went by motor, it was about an hours ride. After playing we went to a concert named “Camouflage” it was very good the acting, the make up and the scenery especially. Of course that’s what the whole thing consisted of but female characters were men dressed up and only in one case was the male voice disernable. I managed to get a tune on the piano the other day from music and after playing only one line for some time I felt lost at first having to look at two staffs. We practise in the morning from 9 till 12 and sometimes in the afternoon. This evening we are playing out at 4.30 for about an hour and again at 7 o’cl so we are fairly full up now. Yes the time goes fairly quickly here but you speak of leave well that seems to be the general topic lately but much of it does not exist. Well I will close now hoping you are keeping fit and in the pink.

With Love from Yours Ever Will. xx

P.S. Please remember me to Ma & Pa.


14th July 1918

Dear Emmie

Just a few lines to let you know that I am alright. I hear Mr W.L. is called up. I am utilising the half sheet that you didn’t write on but I don’t suppose I will be able to fill it up. I could tell you just as much on a field card. I would like you to send me some writing paper please. I hope you don’t get tired with my wants. I went to a church service this morning in a kinema at which the drums played the hymns and chants: it went very well. There was a H.C service afterwards. I hope you are answering my questions. I have quite taken to music lately although I rarely hear any. What are the longest and shortest notes? What is duple time and compound time? Well I have no more to write this time so will conclude.

With Fondest Love from

Yours Ever Will xx


12th July 1918

Dearest Emmie

Yours to hand of the 7th inst. I am glad to know that you can find plenty to do these long evenings. I should think that you could find your way about Golders Green and Hampstead in the dark by now, I am glad you found the brooch again it was very fortunate walking to the exact spot. Is C.H. a sergeant in the Air Force. I think he deserves the rank. Where is he stationed? I hear or rather see by the mag: that Nellie W is back at the “Mish”, and her sister is some musician now; I presume that those letters are something to do with a college of music I forget what they are now.

Are you growing much with all your exercise? If you go swimming mind you don’t get your feet wet. I have received the mags. thank you, what made you think that I wouldn’t get them? I read that paper cutting and am glad to know that the doctors are getting the ‘flu in hand well. I have not received that stuff from home yet and I would like you to find out if it has been sent please. I would like you to send me a block of “snow white blanco” if you please. There is something the matter with my watch; sometimes it goes in 2/4 time (simple duple) and sometimes in ‘compound triple’ and now it is going in 0/0 time.

Ques.1. Why is it needless to write a piece of music in more than 6 sharps or six flats?

Ques.2. Where is C in the alto cleff.

I am going to have some hot milk for supper tonight, that’s the stuff to feed the troops on.

I went to a concert last night: it was given by the “Red Diamonds” and was très bon; “tres beens” as is generally said.

Well my dear I don’t think I have any more to write about this time so will conclude

With Fondest Love from

Will xxx

PS.I heard from Frank C. the other day. He supposed for some reason that I had gone into hospital and was very comfortable himself. His letter consisted of about 60 words and if you count the words in this post-script there are 50 so you may guess how long his letter was.


10th July 1918

Dearest Emmie

In answer to your long letter of the 4th inst. I don’t know why you should feel so foolish because I answered three of your letters at once. I hope you don’t think that you write too much. If I happen to get two or three together at any future time how shall I answer them please? I wouldn’t do anything intentionally that you didn’t like you know. We play out at 6.30 every evening so I have more to occupy my time now than I did have. I don’t compre the being too thumbs up. Have I seen your new friend or is she new to the district. Mind you don’t turn the boat over with your crabs it is quite possible you know. I am sorry that I overlooked that small request you made what was it? You asked me some time ago to tell you what the censored part of a letter was and to return the same well that was the date of when we went up the line which if “Jerry” had got hold of it by any means would have been very important information for him. Well, I am returning letter is you little request answered? I had not forgotten it entirely. Did Mrs Day come over to see the new arrival, some joke. If George is taken prisoner I think it takes about two months before a letter gets through. I did not know Lord Rhondda had died until I received your letter although I learned afterwards that it was in the paper two days before. Sorry to hear that the ‘flu’ is so bad in London. I think it has passed away from here now. May I leave my socks off when I get to ‘kip’ or walk about with bare knees. I don’t think I’ll catch cold. I will get my photo taken if I see a decent place. I would like the latest one of you as soon as poss. You are not very complementary about not knowing much of your letter after reading it. I have not had time to write Mr Farraro yet so please tell him I will answer as soon as poss. How are you getting on with the piano? Quest. How does musical sound differ from mere noise? How many kinds of scales are there? I would like you to answer them and ask me two. Well I must now conclude.

With Fondest Love From Will.


8th July 1918

Dearest Emmie

In answer to yours of the 3rd inst I didn’t think I was writing any less to you lately than I always have done. I think I had the flue when I only wrote one letter and a field-card but I told you then the cause of it. Our post goes at such a funny time that I often miss it unless I write the day before. I don’t say always how I am going on as I think it advisable not to; why? I shall explain in my next epistle if I don’t forget to. It is the first I have heard of the “li’l dawg”; we had one before but it was too vicious so we got rid of it. I had a thick headache with my “flue” and felt pretty rotten but one or two developed pleurisy and bronchitis but we haven’t had many deaths and none through “flue” only. I am sorry to hear Mr Clark is bad and I hope he gets better soon. I suppose it makes more work for you doesn’t it him being away. I have not had a chance to answer Mr Ferraro’s letter yet but I will do so as soon as I can get the time. I have soon started, two bad knees, one, the edge of a bit of corrugated iron scratched and the other well I fell up stairs and found myself down the bottom and thought I had broken my leg but came off lightly with a “knocked up” knee. Of course it is not a favourite trick of mine to fall down stairs. I was coming up so did I fall up or down. Well enough of stairs for now let’s get on with something else. When A German aeroplane was brought down in our lines the other day a Frenchman showed his delight by laying on his back and clapping his hands.

Well ma Cherie I must now conclude with

Best Love From Will xx

PS. Please excuse scribble as here is something wrong with the pen.


6th July 1918

Dearest Emmie

In answer to yours dated 1st, yes! I have had an “elegant sufficiency” thank you, I think the mysterious epidemic is passing away now, of course the “flue” is only a fictitious name for it. I don’t quite “compre” the “secret designs” you speak of, do you mean to sit for an artists model. I have not answered Mr Ferraro’s letter yet, I might do this evening. I should think Bert had his work cut out rowing you two he is becoming quite an athlete what with boxing and cycling. He does ask some quere questions, doesn’t he the wipperwopper. Has he said any more about wearing trousers; tell him he mustn’t think about it if he still keeps on with his “Mum”. Thanks for the Mags received today. I see Bert G. is mentioned rather a lot he can’t have a bad job being a sig: I noticed a few uncorrected printers errors in one Mag: I don’t think that would occur if C.R.H. was still mag. sec. What did you tell me the organ repairs would cost. I thought you said £1000 in a letter I had some time ago but I must be mistaken. Well I don’t think I have more to write this time so will conclude.

With Fondest Love

From Will xxx


4th July 1918

Dearest Emmie

Yours to hand of the 27th ult. I hope you have had a letter by now. I saw C. Gibbs last night, his chum who is also a S.B. is away on a chiropodist’s course; sure cure for corns etc. etc. I hope Will is better by now and also the twins who have both been in bed with “flue”. I had a letter from Mr Ferraro yesterday and will answer it today if possible. We played out last night and we are going to again this afternoon. Will Arnold is no more A1 than a man without an arm. I guess he’ll be in hospital soon. I did come across an army doctor who said that he wouldn’t mark an unfit man A1. I don’t think I told you before but we wear knickers now and have to wash our knees every morning, that’s one to tell “Herbert Bertie”. Please will remind Mum that I wrote for some cleaning tackle some time ago; perhaps it went down with that mail-boat which was supposed to have sunk. I will now close this short epistle as I have to clean up for this afternoon.

With Fondest Love

From Will xx


2nd July 1918

Dearest Emmie

Yours to hand of the 26 ult received yesterday. I am quite better now thank-you. I hope you don’t get it you know you might catch it off of my letters shall I still write. I suppose you’ll say “Don’t write if you don’t want to”, but I’ll wait and see. I hope you enjoy yourselves with les mères but I suppose these little trips over Hampstead are not uncommon to you in the fine weather. I haven’t heard from Frankie Winslow yet but I thought I had a letter from him the other day and when I came to the end of it I saw it was from Mr Behr of Colchester I think I have mentioned him before (Rev. Behr).

I can almost say for certain that I won’t be home by Sept; unless miracle happens. Look out for me about next March unless the war is over before and I think that is unlikely but don’t give up heart. I received your field card and thought it very nutty: there was one line which was fully censored that I am rather curious about.

I will now close as it is dinner time and post goes directly after.

With Fondest Love

From Will xx


30th June 1918

Dearest Emmie

The batt is now up the line and we are at what is known as “details” that is where all the surplus men stay and if required up the line through casualties occurring they are sent up. I think I have got rid of my influenza now; I have just a cough left that is all. It don’t seem to be flying about now like it was, hundreds of men went in hospital with it and I could have done if I had liked but for one thing I didn’t want to and our Major didn’t want me to either. We have lost our Colonel I think he’s got a staff job in Blighty at any rate nobody will mourn the loss. What do you do with yourself of an evening now you must feel lonely. I think I would play the piano to pass the time away. I don’t have anything to do of an evening here so the time drags to me now at any rate its better than being up the line. I dare say I will see Charlie Gibbs in a few days time and then I will be “thumbs up”. My friend Bert Thorne has not come out of hospital yet with the “flue” he has been away about eight days quite a long time. I had a letter from Mum at Battle today but of course she is in London by now. This is too late to send today so I thing I will wait until tomorrow and I might have a letter from you by then.

It is now tomorrow morning or rather the day after yesterday and we have had our usual practice. I haven’t received a letter from you today because the post is not up yet but I hope to have one when it comes.

Is Mr C. back to work yet. I suppose his better half has returned to duty now. Old Jerries’ airmen dropped some leaflets over our line I think they were meant for his own men, printed in German and saying how we have utterly lost etc. etc. I think old Fritz will have to wait a long time before he wins. Well my dear I will now conclude

With Fondest Love

From Yours Ever Will