6th May 1918

Dearest Emmie

In answer to yours of April 30th, you couldn’t have followed that letter of W.R.M’s close enough I would have another shot if I were you. I am glad to hear that you haven’t had any air-raids for a long time now; perhaps they have stopped them thinking that we will finish making reprisals. It is the only thing you at home can do is to Watch & Pray for us and while I know that you pray night and day for me it helps me to bear all the trials out here. When I first read your letter I wondered how the dickings you knew Mr Taylor’s name. I forgot that he signs the letters. No! he does not censor yours so you may put in exactly what you please. He might be a nice man in civil life but the army has spoilt him. He tries to be a soldier and can’t. Thank Bert very much for his photo: it is very good of him.

I know how you look forward to my letters the same as I look for news from you and I will write as often as I can. It seems funny when I read your letters you speak of things which I have forgotten nearly all about and I dare say my letters seem the same to you don’t they? I hope your social eveing at G.F.S. went well. I remember once when the boys from the “Lads Club” were invited we had a fine time. Girls do do things now-a-days. I know that they used to push trucks along on the platforms but I didn’t think it would come to pushing trains along. I have not done any practical first aid and stretcher bearing yet but I dare say I will have to do some soon. Well my dear I will close now hoping I receive a letter from you tonight.

With Fondest Love

From Your

Will xx

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5th May 1918

Dear Emmie

Yours received of 27th ult; thanks very much for cigs and ink tablets. The cigs are the ones I like best. It is now 3 o’cl Sunday afternoon and I am – well I won’t say where this time. I think I described the place before for you to draw your own conclusions. We went to the baths this morning and had a clean change; we are being looked after lately. As luck would have it I managed to get a tune on an old “Joe” (excuse my slang). I dreamt that I was playing the organ at the Mish and that I sounded much better than usual perhaps that is when it is repaired “Après la gare”. How would you like Mr W’s little boy to be named Winslow; he is a lucky man in war time too. The news seems a little better now, we get more here. I saw three newspapers yesterday (Friday’s) so I am well stocked with news. As I look round my cosy dug-out furnished with beds and a fire I often wonder how the boys in the trenches go on. Can you tell me what this represents [symbols] something reminded me of it just now. I wonder what I would be doing were I in “Rue d’tibre” now weakening that spring in the arm chain what! Next time I have leave I hope it is longer than two days and we will have a good time then. Does it seem long since I came out here or does the time go quickly to you.

Everybody out here is under the impression that the war will soon be over and I hope that they are right. You don’t say wether you have had any air raids lately have you? Well my dear I cannot think of any more to write so will conclude

With Fondest Love

From Your Ever

Will xx

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2nd May 1918

Dear Emmie

I think today is Thursday but I do not know the date if it is; rather an awkward position what! Yours to hand of the 25th ult. I hope you are hearing from me more often now. I write as often as possible but have not much to write about. I wish I had been with you over Hampstead we might have had a good time. Do you remember that time you tore your silk stocking without knowing it over there. I hope the concert goes off well at the Mission. I don’t suppose a ticket would be of much use but I would like to see a programme. Funny think I dreamed of you last night and I wasn’t at all nice. I dreamt that food was very scarce and that bread was rationed. I hope you don’t feel the pinch too much. I am living with Plat. headquarters for a short while now and we are in a strange but comfortable little hole in the ground. We have a fire down here and when we got here we found a big pot of good dripping, a lot of biscuits, some rice and two or three other things which make this life fairly comfortable.

I am glad to say I did receive a letter by that mail I thought had come in but that was about a fortnight ago now. I don’t think it will come to conscripting girls at least if it does you keep on the G.N.R. if poss. You will either have to do that or get married. I haven’t heard anything more of Reg. I have answered yours of the 25th and 26th ult and now I am stuck and know of nothing to write about.

I hear that the Germans admit that their offensive was a failure oweing to the men they lost. We do meet with some funny characters in the army, there is a full corporal here who can neither read nor write even his name and he is about 25. I suppose the only thing he is able to send home is a field post-card and then I don’t know how he writes his address. We had to sign a paper yesterday and he asked me how to write a letter “Y”. You know a lot I write in my letters is partly for the officer to know and it does good just complaining a little. I will now conclude trusting that you are all well.

With Fondest Love

From Yours Ever

Will xx

PS. Please remember me to your Pa & Ma and also the boys.

PSS. Please find enclosed letter for Mum.

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1st May 1918

Dear Emmie

I am just writing a few lines while I have time. We boarded motors yesterday and did have a ride not as the day before. When we arrived here yesterday there was a canteen here with a good piano in it but it closed down last night which I call hard luck. I think we will be busy for a few days but I will try to make time to drop you a line. The weather is just about right to work in, not too hot or cold. There is one thing I don’t like about French houses and that is all the ground floors are made of stone. Please excuse this short epistle will write again as soon as poss.

With Love From Yours Will x

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30th April 1918

Dear Emmie

Another month more and another month less and another month nearer the end of the war. (That is all about one month.) I am sorry I made that mistake in my last letter with regards to Mr Rolfe. I am glad you are able to carry on still with your lessons. We were as near to moving this morning as to get into motors all ready for a joy ride and the drivers had taken their seats when the word came and cancelled the move. Our dinner was well on the way and had to be caught up and returned about three o’cl this afternoon. I can’t think how I made that mistake in your birthday especially only one day. It must have been that I was in such a hurry to catch the post corporal that I ran one short. The card I sent you did not strike me as being extra pretty but it was the best I could find and I knew violets would please you.

Have you yet discovered who “Reg” is, if so you had better refer him to me; at any rate I would like you tell me all about him. I hope he doesn’t cut me out, of course he may or rather might try but I don’t think he will succeed. By the way you didn’t say what it said on that card I suppose I may know, mayn’t I? Desmond and one of the other band boys have been in the line. Bert (Not Humbert Bertie) heard from them the other day. I think we have been very lucky for you know we just missed it today. I am sorry that I waste so much paper by leaving it blank but you know the officer has about 100 every afternoon to read in his spare time and men in some Regts are only allowed to write two letters apiece per week. I will now close hoping all are well at home.

With Fondest Love

From Will xxx

PS. 1/5/18 We are on the move today will write again as soon as poss.

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28th April 1918

Dear Emmie

Yours to hand of the 19 inst. I have not heard from home yet it is over a month now, you might just remind them will you please? Of course there may be some letters in the post. Has W.L. heard any more about “joining up” he has not written me at all mainly because I have not written him perhaps and I don’t feel in the right mode lately. I am sorry to hear Mr Rolfe has moved I meant to take lessons from him “apres la gare” and of course you have had to drop yours.

We had a morning service in a barn this morning it is the best we can do here. I have not seen any apropriate silk cards yet to send you. There is a band of some description being made up and I dare say your humble will take some part in it. Do you see anything of Evelyn Von Lindon now? I don’t know what she would say if she saw the mistake in spelling. I wonder if the Germans were to win wether she would still be Dutch after the war. We got payed yesterday the huge amount of five franks and one packet of biscuits from the canteen costs 2F.50c. I cannot think of any more to write now as life is rather monotonous here so I will conclude with

Best Love

From
 Will xx

P.S. I received a letter from home by this evenings post.

P.S.S. 29/4/18 We are now on the move and I will write again as soon as poss.

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27th April 1918

Dear Emmie

At last I have an hour to sit and write undisturbed. I have a green envelope and I think I can write anything except tell you where I am. I write you a short letter this morning as I hadn’t time last night. I am now going to answer a part of your letter of the 12th inst. You speak about the W.a.a.c.s and the Wrens again. You say you would have no fear by my side; perhaps not but then France is a big place and it is a 100-1 that I would not see you.

I sent you a silk card last Thursday week for your birthday you don’t say whether you have received it or not. I hope Mr Chapman’s concert goes off well especially at the piano. Yours just received of the 20th inst. I am sorry to hear that you are so lonely and only wish that I be with you but as the colonel told us the other day “There is a war on.” You say this is the seventh letter you have written me without hearing from me. It is the same in every case here I think that the letters must have been delayed while we were moving at any rate I hope you have received one by now. I know what it is like to see the postman go by without getting a letter and I am sorry that you haven’t heard from me yet. You know I would write every day if I had the opportunity and I hope you won’t be cross if I miss a day or perhaps two. You know it matters a lot now in what expression you write as you only can keep my spirits up. We have a shower now and again but otherwise the weather is very good. I dare say your uncle Newman likes Leeds better than France. He is lucky. I am supposed to be passed out in first aid and stretcher bearing now but I still use my rifle. I have a white band with S.B. in red on it on my left arm. K.T. was engaged once before wasn’t she? I am surprised at Miss Saxton though but these things will happen though. I have received those little violets and they are now in my note book. I will let you see them when I come home. I don’t suppose the GNR will be closing down will it? If you go and join up perhaps it will have to though. I would like to know when you had the last air raid. I pray every night that you will be kept safe from all air raids and I don’t doubt that you will.  It is not a very good sight to see people walking along the roads with as much of their homes with them as poss who are evacuating one of the towns here. It makes the men fight so as such a thing will never happen in England. Well my dear I will now close with best Love

From Yours Ever

Will xxx

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26th April 1918

Dear Emmie

I have only a few minutes to spare now before going on parade; I hadn’t time to write last night as we all had to go to a concert and arrived back about 9.15pm. It was not so bad as I expected it would be; there was one good turn a Celo solo and obligato to two songs one of wich was “Un peu d’amour”. Three of the boys were dressed as girls and the dresses and make up were very good. I won’t see much of C.G. now as he is in another Regt. “R.W.K.” I will keep up correspondence with him; he is in the same Brigade as me.

Thanks for mag & programme, I didn’t know one of the songs I must be getting behind the times. I don’t get much practice for singing or playing now; singing of the march does more harm than good to ones voice. I will write another letter this afternoon so will conclude now to catch the post.

With Love

From Will xx

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