18th September 1917

Bandsman W. Metcalfe 46534, Band Room, 100 T.R.B., Albuhera Brks, Stanhope L’ns, Aldershot
Dear Emmie

Thanks for letter received this morning. I thought myself that my cap was too much over my eyes in photos. If I have time I will send large photo home to Mum this evening. Charlie Gibbs is second from the left of photo in third row. I will try to get a week-end at Harvest Festival but I will have to get a letter from Mr Chapman with a good excuse. I will write to him and ask him to write and ask me up to be at the service etc. We are shifting tomorrow night so I don’t suppose a letter in answer to this will reach me. I will let you know my new address as soon a possible. If you have seen Mr Rolfe I hope you are satisfied enough with his terms so as to start lessons and make a real success. I fully expect to be beaten and I hope I am in this case. Our football team played the unbeatable team last night and beat them two goals to nil. They were never so more surprised in their lives. As we were going on the field they said “Where’s the band” “We’ll put it up the band”. but they were sadly mistaken. I will close now as the light is failing

With Best Love Will xxx


16th September 1917

Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534 Aldershot
Dear Emmie

I got back to barracks at 12.30 last night and this morning I was told by one of the boys that my leave had been extended and that they had sent the telegram at 8 o’clock last night. I wish I had prepaid it and then I should have had an answer much quicker. I am sending photograph of the band. It’s not bad. I will be sending the large one home tomorrow. I am wondering now what I should have been doing if I had received the answer quicker. It is 3 o’clock now. We have got to play at Officers’ Club this evening from 4 till 6 o’clock and then if there is time I think I will go to church.

Please will you let me know when the Harvest Festival is: how many more Sundays and I will try to work another week-end. There is nothing like trying. Well my Dear there is nothing more to say now so I will close with

Love for ever

Will xxx


12th September 1917

Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534 Aldershot
Dear Emmie

In answer to yours, I hardly know where to begin first. Of course when I saw the thick letter I got the “wind up” and when I opened it, it took my breath away. You might have let me have a postcard first just to get me prepared. Never mind! I thank you very much for such a long epistle; you know it cheers me up wonderfully every time I hear from you. If I hadn’t you to write to me I think I would get the DTs if you know what this means. I am glad to hear that everybody has been enlightened as to the true reason of Mr Hicken’s resignation. I am sorry to hear of the burglary at his house but he must feel relieved “some” what!

Mt Warder must be a very businesslike man at the rate in which he answers letters. Just fancy you having the pluck to go for a walk after what occurred at Euston; but perhaps you didn’t go that way did you? When I went to give my pass in I was told they were all stopped this weekend as we are moving next Thursday or Wednesday. You never said anything about having Friday afternoon off in your letter. I think we are going to Colchester. I won’t keep you in suspense too long but I am almost certain to get Friday and Saturday off. You know I just mentioned your name and the trick was done. No! the drum-major is seeing about it for me so it will be a very extra special leave this time.

Last night we went out to play at a fairwell dinner given by some senior officers who are soon going to France. We went there by brake, about two miles, or rather in an old red cross cart such as were used in the “Boer War”. We had a fine time, a cold meat supper and plenty of drinks and we did not get back to barracks until 12.30 am this morning. The orchestra is playing at a lecture tonight in the officers’ mess tomorrow night so we have something to do. As a matter of fact I didn’t do anything except eat and drink last night, the piano was the wrong pitch with the instruments so I could not play it. About Mr C. I was just wondering wether he was a Mormon or not. We happen to play both of those pieces in the orchestra and we have no piano parts so by having them down I would be able to play them. The concert practices are not proceeding much because the orchestra takes as much time. I did not notice that you asked me that before or I should have taken the first opportunity to answer it. About the GFs concert I hope that the “fun” lasts only for the night and no longer. I suppose I must own that I have a little yellow streak especially where you are concerned. How much can you swim by now; you will soon become a mermaid if you take to the water so much. I am never sarcastic but how many letters did you refer to to write your last letter; I guessed that you didn’t write that letter at 3 o’clock in the morning. I have not got the instep supports yet but there is plenty of time between now and when I come out of the army. All we do at Officers’ mess is play about eight pieces while they are dining. I am sorry I cannot stop to write more as I have not answered all your letter yet but I will tell you when I come home.

I do not think this notepaper is any better to write on but it is the only stuff we can get here. I am quite sure I could write another four pages if I had time so please excuse this short note.

I now conclude

With Best Love

Will xxx


10th September 1917

Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534 Aldershot
Dear Emmie

I received yours this afternoon; we have had a double day today and we have also played a hard game of football this evening so I guess I will be a bit stiff tomorrow.

You know I was sorry you could not come as I said in my last letter but I hope to get leave on the 14th. I could not get an “application form” for a pass today so I will write it on a plain piece of paper. It was rather exiting for you at the Euston on Sunday: you are never safe anywhere in any way now there is a war on; what with the raid signals etc. There have been quite a lot of aeroplanes up this evening so I hope you are not having a lively time in London.

I have no more to say now so will conclude

With all my love



9th September 1917

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

Thanks for yours of the 6th inst; I think it was a good thing you didn’t come down today as it has been raining again. When you didn’t turn up as I half expected, I was disappointed a little although in a way I had been hoping that you wouldn’t come. Yesterday and Friday were both fine days so I was looking forward to something. These things can’t be helped so I hope to see you next Friday if I get a pass. I am starting tomorrow to see if my cause is sufficiently important that I should get the said pass and if so it would give me so much pleasure if you would be so kind as to obtain permission to be absent from your office for an afternoon on the said Friday so as by your sweet company my leave would be made more enjoyable than if you could not etc etc etc. (all in one breath) I hope I have made my meaning quite plain to you. I am very sorry to hear of Harry Lawford’s death; one trouble always seems to be succeeded by another as in the case of the Fowlers. We all went to church this morning on church parade; you know we generally have a service in a field. I am going to night at 6.30 it is six o’clock now. It seems quite a long time since I went to a Sunday evening service. This afternoon I have been to orchestra practice trying over some new pieces.

I will now conclude

With Finest Love

Will xx


6th September 1917

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

Thanks for the letter, P.C. and magazine. I did hear of the air raid and of course wondered how you got on; I am glad to hear no one was hurt. Didn’t you have the warning? Did you write that card directly the “all clear” signal went because I got it quickly. I am glad you are coming Sunday and I hope it is better than when you came before. We had a thunder storm last night but it is fine today. I went sick this morning for some new “instep supports” for my feet which I think I will get. Has Bertie C. been out to France yet: he has been joined up a long time now. What regiment is George Ray in? T.Rs’, or T.C. I should think he would do for Mother Won’t Let Me Batt; I hope there is not an air raid when you go to the baths on Friday, nor a submarine attack either or you might go running home in your little short dress, which would not look so becoming in London as in Bournemouth. We are going to Officer’s Mess tonight so we will be alright for a free supper. I have done no parades today and I am sitting writing this also watching the boys come in after their hard morning’s work. Dear Emmie I hope the time passes quickly between now and Sunday so I now conclude

With Best Love



4th September 1917

Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534 Aldershot
Dear Emmie

On opening your letters lately they make me disappointed to see so much white paper left. Haven’t you any detail which might fill up a line or haven’t you much time. I am glad you liked the goss; are you shure you wouldn’t have preferred a model boat or a soldier’s cap? I was thinking of you last Sunday as it was such a fine day and I wished you were with me. I am rather doubtful about Sept 14th so I suggest that you come down next Sunday if the weather keeps fine. I hope it is not too much for you. If I do manage to get away it will be the 14th or 15th as hey only allow 48 hours special leave. You see I have been transfered into another company and the captain is rather mean about leave. One boy wants leave to see his brother who is home from the front and he cannot get it till the week-end when his brother might be gone back. How you do some work at the office what did you used to do? Is Mr Black on his holidays or his honeymoon. This officer of C. Company wants the C. Company bandsman to draw rifles so there is some trouble about doing two mens work. Yesterday we went out at 9am with six biscuits and did not get back for dinner till 4 o’clock. For a change I am going out to tea today so will now “pack up” and get washed and cleaned up. Emmie Dear, I am always longing for you, do you always feel the same for me. I cannot think of more to write now so will conclude

With Fondest Love


PS. Please excuse writing as the paper is bad.