24th October 1917

16 Tiber St
Dear Will

In answer to yours I hope you can get home, let me know, if you can. If you do not get home don’t forget to send Mabel a birthday card, I know she will be pleased if you do. I will tell you that dream when I see you. We had a warning last evening & after scrambling together we found it was false, 2 GNR van boys spread the warning & have now been locked up. Before going any further I must apologise for the untidy state of this letter, but it is the war time ink I am using & blots every word nearly, so please accept my humble apologies. It is raining to-night so I presume we are safe, all meetings are closed this week (including Wed evening service) so I have nothing much doing. I worked until 7 o’clock last night I think I ought to have a “halo” you know for it is real work. Thanks awfully very much for that ”duckie “little badge” you have got for me (or to be more explicit, the one you “promised” me several weeks ago) I am going to get it myself now. You wait until we meet my friend, we shall have something to talk about, that’s all I promise you. (I guess you are thinking about cancelling any probability of leave now) however a most enthusiastic lover you are to be sure. I have heard it said “sarcasm is a cheap form of wit”, so I think I will say no more in reference to above. I had an answer to my application for increase, & it was in the negative, but I shall not let the matter rest there. I am going to write another letter to the bounders & I would not mind a guarantee I have my way in the end if it is only 1/0d I get, so I shall get busy when I have closed this letter. I suppose you will disclose your little plan to me Will when I see you, I hope though it has not too many trimmings to it. Well I will close now, wishing you luck for this week end,

Best Love from Emmie xx


22nd October 1917

16 Tiber St
Dear Will

Glad the gloves fit alright. We had no air raid on Sat. or Sund. But I did not undress all night. I dreamt you were home again last night, but if it is as pleasant when you do come as what I dreamt, I hope you stay away, I found it hard to convince myself I had been dreaming when I awoke it seemed so real. Mr Warder enquired after you last evening, he is about the only person who ever asks after you, they are a funny lot, Mrs [Guynee] never dreams of asking me how you are, not that I want her too, but one cannot help noticing, however I expect you think I have always something to murmer about. I hear the soldiers in France are going to rebel if there are any more raids in England, it is the fault of the Govt. all over. Bert Cranmer is going to put in for a commission are you going to try again for leave & when are the 6 days you thought you were having coming off. I do not think you make a big enough effort. I guess some of the boys wangle a leave oftener than you. That was good about the route march, it took a peg out of the officers. Mr Clarke is still in the pink of condition but he tells me his love has waned a little. He had to shell out £3.3.0 for a new coat for his girl, he buys nearly all her clothes, so if his love does not wane his money will very soon, supposing I sent you all my bills, I guess I should have to go bare sooner, however we are not all alike are we? I am going to speak to Mr Hankin re my rise as soon as an opportunity arises, this evening most probably. I am going to evening classes tomorrow night, moon permitting, we only venture out on dark & wet nights now-a-days, sounds bad, but its true, quite shady characters we will become soon. a bomb was dropped in Piccadilly Circus & blew out the windows of Swan & Edgar’s big shop & neighbouring shops. The Zepps also visited Old Kent Rd. again, I think that is the nearest this time, better luck next time perhaps. Well I have to be returning to my toil now, so will close with fondest love,

Emmie xx.

I hope you will have leave for Xmas if you have to go without until I shall not mind. The war will be over March 17th 1918. Fact!


19th October 1917

16 Tiber St
Dear Will

Merci beaucoup for letter. How did you enjoy the route march? Bertie Cranmer is again home on leave. I met him this dinner-time going to a theatre. C. Hill was home last week. I saw Evelyn last evening at G.F.S we speak now. Maude is getting on very well indeed, the winter pulls one back though so much. You seem to get to the pictures rather often, perhaps it is that you have an extra nice companion. It is a grand day today, only a wee bit chilly. I am going to get an overcoat this afternoon. Mr Rolfe has not given me any pieces yet. I have noticed you did not ask me if I was better yet or whether I had got rid of my cold, forgive me for reminding you but I cannot help thinking of these many things you are continually forgetting. By the way, at the foot of your letter you sent your compliments, what are these for? it sounds funny to me. I believe Will Mayne is at Eastbourne. Have you any idea where your next move is to be? Your mother is having a nice long holiday one thing, she will be out of next week’s joys, if there are to be any. I shall have to conclude now and commence tapping again, so will close with love from



10th October 1917

16, Tiber St
Dear Will

In answer to your, thanks for the drawing. I wondered whatever it was, very lifelike too I must admit. I hope you are in no immediate hurry for the gauntlets, I went to the Scotch Wool stores this afternoon after work and they were closed when I arrived but I will hurry along when I get the wool, in the meantime if your hands are getting very cold, the only suggestion I can offer is, that you get someone with warm hands to hold yours, rather an economic suggestion don’t you think? I think I must consider that during this war time too and it will save me buying gloves.

It has been bitterly cold to-day red noses are becoming more popular now, I am meeting them by the dozens. Is it right you are going to have more money? That will make you 7/- per wk, irrespective of what your Mother receives won’t it? You will be getting quite wealthy sure on that. I suppose you will want to save now. I read in the papers to-night “German Navy Mutiny”, sounds healthy doesn’t it, also that typhus hunger is breaking out over several parts of Germany, so things seems a bit ruffled in the Faderland. Did you know that when those recent Air Raids were on, we had the mobile guns up and down the streets? They were along Copenhagen St I think, but I know for certain they were along Barnsbury. Guns are going to be run along the Railways for the next raid. “Some Barrage” we have got for the Bing Boys on their next visit, but I pity our hearing after it is all over. I hope you are able to get the week-end, let me know if you possibly can in case I happen to be going anywhere, for I suppose you would like to see me for a few minutes if you came home.

I went to Mr Rolfe on Monday. I think he is a very clever fellow, but I do not care for him very much. I noticed the photographs of some good old English gentlemen on the wall, bearing the names of Ernst, etc. I prefer “Horace” myself, sounds more British don’t you think? I do not know now exactly how you managed to remain in the band. I thought it consisted of unfit, and you are a fitun (no remarks please) so will you tell me? Well I shall be closing now I think and get on with a very interesting story I have commenced. It is about a solider in France who loved his girl so much and was always thinking of her, and constantly had her in his mind through all the horrors of the battle he was in, and he got shell shock and was sent to a hospital, and when he was a little better he could not bear his girl near him, he simply would not see her, you see she brought back to him all he had been through as her image had been with him through all the terrors of the battle, so you see I am anxious to know how it all ends, rather sad don’t you think, but as I read it, it seems very feasible the way it is explained , however, things like this, they say, must be after a famous victory, so I will conclude now with fondest love to my dear boy. x

Emmie x


24th September 1917

16, Tiber St
Dearest Will

Thanks for letter. I do not feel quite so cheered after reading the contents this time. In the first place I am sorry to hear about the band disolving, now I take it you will have to do those horrid route marches. Well, although I should not like anything to be very much wrong with you, I hope you succeed in trying not to be A1, for I really do not like to think of you going abroad. Are you not in the Training Reserve then, what do you call it now? Dear Will. I went to the Christadelphian meeting & I have become very impressed, but of course I shall wait until you come back as I want you to know about also, I really want to do what is right. Now here is another little point, in your letter you say you have not much time to write & you wish me to remember you to your people. I cannot do that Will, I shall feel as though I am taking all your time for writing to me so often. I think they feel it already, so please rather than not find time to write to them, I would rather you sent me perhaps a letter less and send one to them oftener. I hope dear you understand my feeling, for you know, I appreciate all the letters as heartily as you do mine. That’s all I have to cheer me up now, but still I do not want to occupy all your spare time for writing. Do not forget the Harvest Festival is this Sunday, so don’t leave it until the last minute if you decide to write to Mr Chapman. It is a strange thing for me to do, but I dreamt about you last night, you were up on a short leave, and I remember you said to me, “Emmie, I am going to the Swimming Baths this afternoon, so I shall not see you before I go. (and I had had the time off too) and you left me with just an ordinary ta ta. There is first other little thing I have been thinking of, I always used to look for the little cross in the top corner of your letters, lately, I have noticed its absence, you have not forgotten, have you Will?, it is not necessary to put that cross perhaps, but do tell me if you still think of what I said every night just the same. I do hope you get sufficient to eat, but you will let us know won’t you if you do not. Well my dear boy, I will conclude now, with best love from your ever loving sweetheart

Emmie xxx


21st September 1917

16, Tiber Street, King’s Cross, London N1
Dearest Will

Thanks for letters etc, it seems some time since I wrote to you. Do you like St. Botolphs any more than Aldershot. Rough luck, passing so near home, had I known perhaps I should have been there to wave to you. Is the band still in existence, you said something about the probability of it breaking up as you were all leaving. I notice in the address there is an addition, “256. Infantry Battn”. What does this mean? Will I thought about going to a Christadelphien meeting on Sunday evening with Mabel & Will, I have heard one or two points about it, & I feel a bit interested & I [hope]/believe there is some truth in it, it makes me very unsettled sometimes, especially after what I have heard, so I am going to this meeting. Have you heard anything of it at all from Will? Are your barracks very far from the station this time? I like the large photograph much better, it is clearer. Have you written to Mr Chapman re. coming to the service yet? I hope you can manage it. I like to see your dear old face as often as I can. The figure in the corner is a Swastika sign, & is considered to be a lucky mascot, hence the adoption, perhaps it will bring you home oftener, or it even might end the war, one never knows. Mrs Shovell, next door says the war will not last much longer, she said when America gets pulled up a bit & her aeroplanes are ready, all the Allies & America are going to send about a thousand aeroplanes over to Germany & the war will end with a battle in the air, theres a bit of news for you dear. I am going to post this at 12.30, I wonder if you will get it this evening, let me know will you, & tell me all about the place where you are stationed now, that is if you know anything of it. Mabel & I enrolled for evening classes last night, Tuesdays as last year. I don’t suppose I shall have anyone to meet me this winter. You used to come last year did’nt you. Well I have no more to tell you just now, do you like the colour of tis notepaper?

I will close now hoping you are quite happy and have plenty to eat.

From your Loving Lass Emmie xxxxxxxxxxxx


17th September 1917

16 Tiber St
Dear Will

Thanks very much for the photo, it is very nice of you but would have been better had your chapeau not been so much over your face. I noticed Desmond and he looks a bit vicious. Is that Charlie Gibbs, two away from you? I also recognise the drummer. Johnnie Hilling was home on Sunday. I met Will Sharpe Sunday morning and he said you should not have gone back Sat. The Harvest Festival is to be held the last Sunday of this month. Sept 30th do try and get leave, for the Monday too, then you will be able to come to the Festival social also. You said you were going to fresh barracks is the address to be altered then? I am going to see Mr Rolfe this evening. Well there is no more this time to say, let me hear from Colchester early won’t you, hope you get along alright.

Well bye-bye Duckie

Emmie xxx


10th September 1917

16 Tiber St
Dear Will

In answer to yours, I do not want to appear selfish, but I am really pleased it was raining in Aldershot or I should have been wild if it had been fine after all and I had stayed at home. Mr Hickin preached on Sunday evening and also explained the reason fully of his resignation. I am afraid we have misjudged him and he thought we had too, but on hearing the story from his own lips, I think the congregation is fully satisfied and agrees the course he has chosen to be correct and best.  There has been a burglary at his house, that is what brought him to London chiefly this week end. £50-worth of jewellery and other things stolen, I am told, but no clue whatever can be obtained as to who the thief is. I met Mr Hickin on Sat. and he asked me how you were. Mr Warder told me last evening he would write to you at the first opportunity in a week or two’s time he thought, he is a very busy person I suppose. Would you mind if I answered yours about a week after I wonder? I went for a nice walk Saturday evening with Maude. The war pictures are commencing again this Winter as in previous years, you will not be coming with me this time will you?

Mr Clarke came to the office this morning, he spent the week end in town (to be near his lady love I expect) and he went back to Bournemouth again this morning. He sent Mable and me a card last week and addressed me as “Dear M.” and Mabel as “Dear Alice”, now what do you think of the cheeky bounder. Why are you wanting those pieces of music and how are the concert practices proceeding. I believe I have asked you this before among the other countless questions you have not answered. The sun is shining nicely to-day, I am going to the Mish. this evening to play for Mr Chapman, the harvest anthem etc, we are having a practice. Things are looking up a little now the winter’s work is beginning to show itself. I hear Mrs Browne is going to get a concert together by the G.F.s and we are to entertain some wounded soldiers, there will be “some fun” that night you can guess. Do you remember Bert Pillar, he lived in our street, but has since gone to live in Devon, he attended the mission. Well he came to London on Sunday and called at our house. My word he is tall, he is in wounded soldier’s clothes but has grown wonderful. I went swimming on Friday (Mabel would not come) I got on alright too, I shall do a little next week by myself I think. I do not know what G. Ray is in, he was down again on Sunday, some of them seem to manage it all right. Mr Shovel’s boy next door has joined and he gets home every Sunday. You asked me in one letter if I posted the card to you directly after the all clear signal as you received it so soon. Well I hardly imagine myself writing at 2.30am and posting it that time of the morning especially after the excitement, but I wrote it as soon as I was dressed and then sent it at 7.30 so you see I was not so very late. Have you got the instep supports yet? You were not really sick were you. Bertie Cranmer has been to France some time, and also in the hospital some time with trench feet, Charlie Cranmer came home soon after him, so it was rather nice, all the boys seem to be coming now. We are expecting Jack Strong soon. What do you do when you go to the Officers’ mess? I know you get a free supper, or a tea. I am going to start Evening School next I think. I do not know what subjects to take yet. By the way, you complained some time back about the paper I left unused. You do not fill much I must say, besides you do not get many words on one line either. I would give you a prize if you could write me as much as I have you this time.

I think it is about time I drew to a close or you will begin to puff. Another thing, I have had some various selections of notepaper from you, but this dark grey blue stuff fairly makes me creep it is so drab and dreary, cut it off for a time there’s a dear boy. I am going to Lennis now to spend the rest of the evening. That chapie in my office in Mr Clarke’s place is a little more talkative now, his name is Mr Carroll, only I wish he would someetimes, but he made a joke the other day much to my amazement and then laughed and of course I heartily joined in on the rare occasion. Thank goodness this is the last week of his presence in the D.M.O. Well I really will close this time

With love from


Semper fidelis

(there were quite 4 words on each line to your last most welcome letter, I’ll pay you out my boy next time you see.


9th September 1917

16 Tiber St

How sad I am, I could not come. I was all ready, my sandwiches cut too, and then the rain came and lasted so long, so I could not start. It has been a miserable day, so dull and showery, I’ve been wondering if it was fine at Aldershot. You must try and get leave for the 14th.

Have been seeing all the Russians (men only) leaving the country this evening at Euston, there were myriads of them, and a great deal of unrest you may be sure. They were hissed and booed awful, of course there were the hooligans about and when Maude and I left Euston the hooligans shouted out that we were Russians been to see the menfolk off and they prepared to round on us, there were about 40 of them. I’ve never been so frightened so I shouted out We are English, then they cheered and let us go on triumphantly, what experiences we do have in war time, it is surprising.

Well the hour is approaching bed time, bye the way, we had a bit of a warning this afternoon and had to let our kiddies out of Sunday School about 3.30, another piece of excitement. The all clear signal was given though shortly after. Well write to be quick and tell me a lot.

Fondest love, from your