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20 February 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

Feb 20/18

 

Dear Mother

Very many thanks indeed for 2 letters which I got from you last mail, dated 12th & 18th December. Please excuse this awful paper, but it’s all I’ve got, found in a box of my spare kit which I left behind at Baghdad last September when we went on the Ramadi show. It’s got a trifle damp as you perceive, but I’m afraid I’ve got no better.

You ask if I ever received the pipe & by this time you will have got my letter saying it arrived safely and thanks ever so much for it. It’s an old much-smoked veteran now and is my constant companion, as I can smoke a pipe all day in the cold weather.

So glad to hear Topher’s stammering is improved and I hope his lessons will make a great difference to him, if not completely cure him. Poor Dick losing all his kit, and not being able to take his shirt off for a month! Quite like old times, I know so well what he feels like. After a bit you begin to feel you never want to take off anything, & then that awful “scratching” period begins, & you simply have to take it off! Are’nt I horrid!! I presume he was all through the Cambrai business, as I see Indian Cavalry were engaged.

We are camped just by a railway here, as I think I told you and there are a lot of L.S.W.R. railway engines in use on the line. So familiar they look and sound as they go puffing by, and of course the Queens all swear they can recognise old friends in them; and I’ve no doubt they have all buzzed through Guildford station one time or another.

Warmer weather lately and some rain. Today is cloudy and raw with promise of more rain. I think this is going to be a very dusty camp in the hot weather. We have had one or two windy days which have been very unpleasant. We have also had several visits from Hun aeroplanes lately; I think they were just prowling round seeing what they could see. Our “archies” fired at them, & several of our ‘planes went up after them but with no results.

I have had a day’s shooting, last Sunday. I & one Potter of the Queens rode out on Saturday and stayed the night at a post with a friend in another regiment & shot next day. There were very few birds about & we only got 16, but had a very pleasant walk and a day in the country, which, after all, is the chief thing.

Thanks very much for sending the soap along. The parcel has’nt arrived yet, but I have no doubt it will before long. The Fortnum & Mason boxes have not turned up yet either, though it must be 5 months nearly since they left home.

I have dined with Sam Orton once or twice at Divn H.Q., & met General Brooking again. Of course I knew him comparatively well, as I have had many dealings with him. He thinks a lot of the regiment & often says nice things about us to me. Many thanks for the Maude memorial service paper which you sent. Most interesting.

Yes, I got a photograph from Dryden of the 1914 star, and right proud I am to have qualified for it. I’m afraid it will lead to many discussions, as of course there has been equally heavy fighting and a good deal heavier in many cases since those early days. But it’s nice to think that the old army (though, heaven knows, no one respects & admires the New army more than I do, & all of us do) will be practically the only ones to get it, including many territorials, who after all were part of the old Army, the 2nd line, & did magnificent word. Anyhow it has been given, up to a certain date, & there the matter begins & ends, so discussion is really pointlee and leads nowhere. If you get it, you get it; if you don’t, you don’t.

I have written to Nell, making sort of preliminary arrangements for the wedding. I hope to manage to arrive home about the middle of May, & be married round about 1st June though of course it’s impossible to say definitely. In any case, I will be wiring to her, when I start, and I hope she will wire on to you. I have told her to address me c/o P & O Port Said when she gets my wire saying I’m starting, so you had better do the same. I must perforce leave nearly all the arrangements to her, but I have given her a rough outline of my ideas, & have appointed Ben as my representative, to whom all questions are being referred. I hear leave is to be on the liberal side this year; I sincerely hope so.

So glad the nurse & matron wrote you a line; they were perfect angels to me, & I do admire them all so, working all day and all night in that appalling heat, & wonderfully cheery all the time.

By the way, we are moving up a bit tomorrow; afraid I can’t say where or why, nothing very exciting, but I may not be able to catch next mail, as we are going off into the blue on 20lbs of kit. This is just to warn you in case you don’t hear next mail, but with this fortnightly business on I ought to be able to scribble a short line.

Tons of love to all

yr loving son

Ted


I shouldn’t be as amused as I am by the thought of fussy, fastidious Richard losing his kit and not being able to change his shirt for a month.

 
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Posted by on 20 February, '18 in About

 

February 1918 – Ted to the Cantuarian

The Cantuarian was the school magazine for Kings College Canterbury, where Ted was at school. They published letters from old boys who were serving in the war.


Dear Editor,

A line from much-abused Mesopotamia may not be without interest to you, though I have no doubt some of my news will be already in your possession, I mean such items as the names of O.K.S. (Old Kings Scholars) serving in the M.E.F. (Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force).

I suppose the capture of Ramadi last September is still more or less fresh in your memory. Lieut. G. D’O. Maclear (India Army Reserve of Officers) and I were present at that show he being attached to my regiment at that time. He was severely wounded during the fighting, in the left shoulder and neck but has rejoined us now after being in Hospital about 2 months. It was a good day for my regiment, for we captured 3 Turkish field guns and over 2,000 prisoners out of the total bag at Ramadi, quite a good share of the spoils!

Two days ago there occurred what must be one of the shortest O.K.S meetings on record. We were marching down the road and met a battalion marching the other way. Who should accost me suddenly from the ranks but Captain G. C. Strahan and as Maclear was marching with my company, we had a meeting — the three of us — lasting exactly 15 seconds, just while our respective companies were passing each other, and then of course we had to break up our meeting and rejoin our commands.

On arrival in camp here I met L. N. Green of the Army Chaplains’ department, chaplain to a brigade here. I dined with him last night and we raked up many old names and memories. Major C. W. G. Walker is out on the staff somewhere. I have met him in India several times, but have not come across him out here. I also met Smyth (C.J?) at Basra last March, and he was collecting O.K.S. news and has probably already given you much of what I have told you. He is in the Indian Army Reserve and is with the — Gurkhas and was doing duty at the base depot when I met him. He was always a regular contributor to the Cantuarian from Bhuj Bhuj in India. Green told me last night that one Channing Pearce is also up this way, adjutant of a battalion of the –, but I have not met him myself. There are probably other O.K.S. out here but Smith has, I expect, told you of them. F. R. Hawkes is out here I know on railway construction work. E. C. Green I heard from in India about a year agom he had a staff job in Naini Tal, and had been sometime in Aden before that. He is in a battalion of the –, but I don’t know which.

That’s about all the latest information I can supply. I occasionally see names I know in the casualty lists, and also references to and portraits of O.K.S. in the Sportsman’s roll of honour, in the Sporting and Dramatic news — otherwise I am rather ignorant as to what has become of many old friends. I wonder if anything in the shape of a School Roll of Honour is available or contemplated, if so I should very much like to see it.

A few general remarks may be of some service to you, though you probably have most of the information already,.

Major W. H. Wardell was missing in November 1914 at Festubert, and there seems no doubt he was killed. He was in my regiment. At one time there were three of us in it, Major Wardell, R F. Nation and myself. Nation transferred to the Royal Fusiliers in 1913 and was badly wounded at Ypres in 1915 and has not as far as I know been passed fit again.

My younger brother C. G. P Berryman [Topher] enlisted in 1914 in the — Middlesex and went out in 1915 and has now got his commission, I hear. He served for a long time as a groom to another brother of mine who was Medical Officer to an Indian Cavalry Regiment in France. A. P. Methuen was in the — Middlesex too, I believe, at one time. C. H. C. Gore is also in my regiment and servied with us in France and Egypt an is now on the N. W. frontier in India with his battalion.

That I think exhausts my information, somewhat meagre I’m afraid, but there may be one or two points worth recording in the Cantuarian, a publication which I have not seen for years.

I hope the old school is going strong and still beating Dover regularly though I hear they have moved from Dover during the war. Best salaams from all O.K.S out here to you all and especially to Mr. Latter who probably remembers all the names I have mentioned.

Best of luck to you all and when there are re-unions and O.K.S. meeting “after the war” — that vague and problematical period — may I be there to see.

Yours,

E. R. P. Berryman (Major),
2nd Bn. 39th Garhwal Rifles.

I met R. C. Paris, R.A.M.C. in Karachi in 1914, but I don’t know what’s becoem of him since and a brother of mine in Singapore [Jim] writes to say he met R. St. J. Braddell there recently.


King’s Roll of Honour

Named Old King’s boys –

Lt G D’O Maclear

Cpt (later Lt Col) G C Strahan (9th picture down)

Medals of Col CWG Walker

Major W H Wardell

A P Methuen

CHC Gore, retired a Colonel in 1947


I am grateful to Peter Henderson, archivist at Kings School Canterbury, for this letter. 

Ted to the Cantuarian

Ted to the Cantuarian

 
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Posted by on 18 February, '18 in About

 

12 February 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

Feb 12/18

 

Dear Mother

We’ve had no mail in now for a long time and the fortnightly despatch seems to be in full swing. I believe there is a mail hovering about somewhere, but no one seems to know when it will actually arrive.

Ink again you will notice, for we have come back some 30 miles or so and are in comparative civilisation again, though to all intents and purposes we are just as far away from things as we were up at Ramadi. But here we are at least on the railway. Baghdad is within 4 hours by cattle truck, so we are indeed in the haunts of semi-civilisation once more. I have got heaps of ink tablets, and have rigged up an ink-pot and am using my fountain pen as a dipper, as it has long ceased to carry out its fountain duties.

We had a comfortable and uneventful journey down. We took 5 days over it, 3 days marching and 2 halting, not by any means strenuous. I met 2 old King’s school boys on the way, and there are two of us in the 39th so we had quite an old boys’ meeting. I wrote to the “Cantuarian”, and I can imagine the excitement the letter will cause!

The roads and weather were perfect for marching. They have done a lot of improving to the roads, mending them etc, and they use a lovely pink sort of stone, which they get from the sand dunes close by, to do the metalling with. A most gorgeous colour, it must have absorbed the sunsets of a thousand years to get like that. Of course it soon loses its colour when beaten and trodden into the road, but lying in heaps by the side of the road ready for use it looks lovely. The recent rains too have helped to bind the sand, and then traffic over the roads has made them hard and white and shiny. But I expect they will cut up in the summer and deteriorate into mere tracks once more, inches deep in sand.

It was cold and clear most of the time, except one night when rain fell in torrents from 6 to 11, and we had a damp cold dinner, huddled in a tent, & all went to bed about 8, there being no where else to go and it being the only dry warm place. Next day the roads were a wee bit muddy in parts, but the wind soon dried them and we got into our new camp quite dry.

Our new camp is out in a dusty bare place, the edge of the desert. All right now, in fact very cold with the N.W. wind whisking across sands, but it will be a warm spot in the hot weather I’m afraid. Not a tree or any shade of any kind; two miles from the river, and a dusty road running straight in front. And there is a railway line running within 20 yards of our tents, a novelty now, not having seen a train for 6 months (and we all stare at the train as it goes by daily!) but I expect we shall get sufficiently bored with it before we see the last of it. Still it’s a blessing to be on the rail again. One is’nt quite so cut off from the outer world, and you feel nearer home somehow.

We have been busy since we got in getting the camp in order and generally settling down. I have retrieved all my kit now, all the stuff (little enough, but still, all I had) which we left in Baghdad when we left for the Ramadi show last September. This paper is some of the spoils. It was a bit damp, but otherwise no harm done, as I had put it all in a tin suit case- does’nt it sound common! – but it’s the only thing to have in these outlandish places.

Lyell joined us yesterday. Poor man, he is very hard hit, but it must be a blessing to him to be employed. So I am no longer 2nd in command now, & though my brevet saves me from dropping to captain’s rank, it does’nt save me from dropping to captain’s pay, as of course a brevet only confirms the rank without the pay.

I have met Orton several times, you will remember he is on our Divn staff, & they are here at present.

It’s still very cold at nights, but I have plenty of blankets now, though I still have to wear a woolly in bed, & spread my British warm over me. I hear the leave rules are out, but I have not seen them yet. I am told they are on the liberal side. I wonder if I shall be able to get home this year. It seems absurdly near now, & if I do manage it I ought to be home in about 3 months’ time. By the way, in case I do, you’d better write all letters to Cox & Co Bombay “to wait till called for”, as if I don’t come home I can wire them to forward them: & if I do I can pick them up there. So you’d better start doing so now.

I am very fit & well. Best love to all

yr loving son

Ted


Probable position – halfway between Falluja & Abu Ghraib

King’s Roll of Honour

Named Old King’s boys –

Lt G D’O Maclear

Cpt (later Lt Col) G C Strahan (9th picture down)

 

Medals of Col CWG Walker

Major W H Wardell

A P Methuen

CHC Gore, retired a Colonel in 1947

 
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Posted by on 12 February, '18 in About

 

1 February 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

Feb 1st/18

 

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for 3 letters from you last mail, a day or two ago. I am indeed sorry to hear of poor Aunt Edward’s death. She was always most awfully kind to me and took a real interest in me & my welfare. I know, as she always knew all about me & my latest doings whenever I went to see her. She was very interesting always about our family and the members of it whom we never or seldom met, and I was always surprised at the number of cousins, however distant, we seemed to possess but had never seen!

It was curious too the way she went on living in old Gravel Lane surrounded by all sorts & conditions of men, & every kind of squalor & poverty. I was always in an awful funk going to see her, all down among those slums and alleys. I only wrote to her a few weeks ago, as I always did at Christmas, but I’m afraid my letter never reached her this time.

I’m so glad that my letters about the Ramadi show arrived safely and that you were interested, but you are all much too lavish in your praises. I speak for myself, though I don’t think too much can be said for the men & the regiment. Very many thanks indeed, all the same. It is pleasing to know that having done our best, that best is appreciated.

We have had a day or two’s rain of late and one night of howling gale and wind, but otherwise this lovely cold clear weather goes on. We have frosts at night but it’s gorgeous weather all the same, and ever so much to be preferred to the summer out here.

So you are all going on rations I hear. I think it’s rather bad luck on you & all the rest who have played the game all along to have to suffer for the extravagance & indifference of an upstart class that suddenly finds itself with money in excess of its wildest dreams. All the same, I’m sure it’s right and after all I expect the ration will be ample, and it at anyrate ensures an equal distribution and shows the world we mean business. I don’t fancy England itself is short of food, not as short as all that I mean, but it’s the food supply of the whole world that is causing anxiety.

You all give me hopeful news about Topher and the curing of his stammering. I do hope you’ll be able to tell me of considerable improvement, if not of a complete cure, in some future letters. The boy has done splendidly I think & I’m sure we are all jolly proud of him, and I think he deserves a jolly long rest; even if it involves strenuous training he will at least be well housed and fed and will be away from the strain & stress of the front. Poor Dick! I know how he must hate all that slush & cold. You say he has been away from his regiment. What’s he been doing I wonder?

I hope to have lots more photographs to send you soon, but they take years to get developed and printed. The Stores, Bombay, should have sent you another lot now, but I have still more – chiefly groups of officers, & a few local scenes. I hope the ones of the guns & trenches arrive safely, though I’m afraid the ones of the trenches are very dull, but of course they are very real, as we lived & fought in them & for them for 2 & 3 days, & so we look on them as old friends, or enemies.

(By the way, don’t call us the “Garhwals”; either the “39th”, or the “Garhwalis”: hope you don’t mind the hint, but there’s nothing like correct names, & “Garhwals” sounds terrible to us!) Garhwal is the country where our men come from, and the inhabitants are called Garhwalis; just like Bengal & Bengalis, or Punjab & Punjabis.

Your letters were dated 28th Nov, Dec 4th & 5th, the latter a note to tell me of Aunt Edward’s death.

We have been gorgeously free from flies all the last 2 months, and yesterday one came into the mess & was chased & slain, his death being greeted with cheers! one came in a few weeks ago too, and was also slain. It’s the cold weather & improved sanitary conditions that has done them in, but I fancy the hot weather will see a revival of them, as however careful one is they seem to be a perpetual plague in this country.

I suppose Paul is married now, but I was not aware of the date, which was being perpetually changed I gather, so I could not cable. In any case the cable between Bombay & London is unable to be used for private wires now owing to over-work, and cables are being sent by post if you please between Bombay & London! I’m glad they call it a cable!

You seem to have got all my letters all right; possibly one I wrote on 4th September was burnt, as you make no mention of having received it, but otherwise I seem to have escaped as regards my letters, & very few, if any, went by that ill-fated ship and were burnt.

I had a line from Jim at Krillee, near Poona. He does’nt think much of India (who does?) & prefers Singapore. I wonder if he will turn up out here.

Now I hear of the shortage of sugar & currants etc at home I can appreciate your plum pudding (already eaten) much more. We still get rich Christmas cakes with thick sugar and almond icing from India, sent by various friends & relations. And if I come home this year it seems I’ll have to bring my wedding cake with me! I think it could easily be managed as of course there is no real shortage of sugar & spice in India: the difficulty lies in getting it home to England. They seem to have sunk much fewer ships in the last 3 weeks, but America says they have withdrawn a lot of submarines. In any case fewer ships have been sunk which is the main thing.

I fancy we are moving back in a day or two for a rest & change. We have been up here on outposts, & digging defences, & on reconnaissances for over 4 months now. And though of course we are not in actual touch with the enemy, still we have to keep our eyes skinned & always be ready for emergencies which becomes rather wearing after a time.

Must end up now

Best love to all & again many thanks for nice things said.

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Ted


Whenever my father, who also served in the Garhwalis, met his brothers in arms at the Regimental reunions, we children ran a discreet sweepstake on how long it would be before one of them said “When I was at Poooooon-AH”. I was disorientated when my yoga teaching friend said it, freshly back from meditating on an ashram. It’s only a matter of time before I hear someone saying it about visiting colleagues in a software team or an operations centre. The relationship between Britain and India is as complex as it is long. 

I am surprised and slightly disorientated by Ted’s throw-away comment “he doesn’t think much of India (who does?)” – maybe long distance love was making him particularly homesick or maybe he was nervous about taking his bride out there. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pune

 

 
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Posted by on 1 February, '18 in About

 

27 January 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

Jan 27/18

 

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for a letter of yours dated Nov 21st, which I got just after I had written to you last week. I got one from Dryden dated a week later, saying you had got my letter telling you about the Ramadi fighting, but that was the only one I got of so late a date – Nov 27th – so I expect yours must be wandering about looking for me somewhere-

In your letter you had just heard of Sir Stanley Maude’s death. Yes it was very sad and we can ill afford to lose so good a man. I am awfully glad I served under him, and as I told you I met him personally when he came to say pretty things to us after the Ramadi show-

Our long spell of really nice weather has broken up at last- We have had nearly a fortnight of really perfect weather, absolutely cloudless skies, brisk bright and very cold days & frost at nights- generally a cold wind too, but on the whole it could’nt have been nicer or more bracing. But today it has begun to rain, and I think we shall have 2 or 3 days of it now.

No news from here. We have had one or two visits from Turkish aeroplanes, and our guns fired at one but he got away. And a few days ago one of their machines had to come down behind our lines owing to engine trouble, & we got the pilot and observer. We also hear that those two airmen of ours who were lost the other day had had to come down owing to engine trouble & were captured by Turks, though they got back to within 14 miles of here. Bad luck was’nt it.

You were writing of Paul’s wedding which I suppose is a fait accompli now. I had a long letter from him last mail and he seemed very excited about it all. I also had a line from Jim, in India, but of course you will have heard from him too. He says he has not heard from me for ages, but I have written several times. His being on the move so much has made it difficult for letters to reach him I expect.

Very glad to hear Topher is having something done for his stammering and I do hope he gets a good long time in England now. I think it’s splendid the way he has stuck it so long- Yes we get rotten matches out here too, Japanese mostly and they won’t strike very often & the boxes are very weak & wobbly.

But we are being wonderfully well fed, and our rations supplemented by what we can buy at the M.E.F. Canteens, are really extraordinarily good. We get fresh baked bread, ample, bully beef & sometimes frozen meat, jam, bacon, cheese & sometimes butter- Then we can buy practically everything that was ever put in a tin at the Canteen, not regularly certainly, but remarkably often. Vegetables too we get, turnips, beans, & salad, and sometimes potatoes. At anyrate what we do get to eat is ample & good, & you would hardly know there was a war on if you came to lunch in our mess!

Of late we have had heaps, really a dozen or more, Christmas cakes, sugar, sultana, almond paste an’ all, and just as rich as any pre-war Buzzard! All from India of course, but still, marvellous is’nt it when we come to think of how hard it is to get things at home. Really you are having a much harder time than we are, taking it all round I think- We have’nt had any mail lately, at least since the 21st, but I see English letters of 4th & 8th December have arrived in the country & are on their way up.

Very few boats have been sunk at home these last 3 weeks. I do hope it means the thing is being really got in hand at last- And we read of strikes in Hungary & Austria, & of another in the German navy & perhaps this accounts for fewer ships being sunk as there may be fewer U-boats about. In any case, it’s a good sign and I sincerely trust it continues as low & lower-

It’s raining tonight & I can see we are in for a wet spell. It got a bit dusty the last fortnight, rather recalling the hot weather, but the rain ought to give us some respite yet.

Must go to bed. I have managed to wangle another blanket out of the quarter master, so I am warmer in bed now.

Love to all

yr loving son

Ted


http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/workers-prepare-to-strike-in-germany

 
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Posted by on 27 January, '18 in About

 

24 January 1918 – Ted to Jane

Jan 24/18

 

Dear Jinny

Very many thanks indeed for a letter from you which I got about Christmas time, but I’ve been that busy I have’nt had much time for writing, except to old Nell, ha ha – I’m still very ill, with Nellitis, I mean: and I see no chance of ever getting any better – a hopeless case, I’m afraid- and to think I have’nt seen the dear child for over 2 years. I do loathe this war-

We have had a simply gorgeous fortnight of lovely crisp cold weather, but night before last we got a gale o’ wind with rain and the whole place is one big marsh now, & it’s very raw & novembery-

Nothing very exciting has been happening here lately, a Hun ‘plane or two has been over but otherwise no alarms. We had a strenuous week training all last week, & thought it might mean something, but nothing has happened yet- We have been in the front line now for nearly 5 months, & we are getting rather tired of it, for though we are not in actual touch with the enemy, yet we have done a colossal amount of digging, and generally speaking we are very much out of the world in this remote corner.

I say, I told you did’nt I how fearfully bucked Nell was with the undies you made her; thanks awfully for making such ripping ones. I got some very old letters of hers last week, dated last July! In those she said Mrs F. had said she thought she ought to be getting her trousseau, & they went off & bought some Japanese silk for undies on the strength of it! Mind you help like hell in getting Nell’s things for the wedding, trousseau an’ all : the child is to be clothed perfectly right down to her nethermost garments: she’s such a dear that nothing but the best is good enough for her- (so you see I’m still pretty bad!) I don’t trust Mrs F. & the F. family as regards trousseau, though I expect Louie & Marjory would be all right. I often hear from Louie, rather a friend of mine it seems. And from Marjory too, though of course I’ve never met her.

I hear Geoff Houghton is “covered in red tabs”, what job’s he wangled pray? And I’m most awful pleased to hear old Topher is on his way to get a commission & I do hope his stammering course does him some good.

So I suppose old Paul is married now. Lucky devil, I say- and I hear you were b’maid, so I ought to be getting long descriptions of the show in a few weeks. Letters take 6 weeks or more now to reach us up in these parts from home. Those ripping Fortnum & Mason things turned up last week for me from you girls: thanks most awfully for them, they were most acceptable. The Dudmans sent me rather a nice writing pad, with this paper in it, but it’s good enough to get refills for.

Your letter is dated Tuesday, somewhat vague- but I see the post mark is 31st October. (Remember 31st October 1915? We went over to C’ham, to look for rooms, & found 30; I had been engaged 2 days then!) Yes I saw Stephanie’s wedding in the Tatler- remember how we used to invade their house on our way down to Gloucester always? My dear well can I picture the Babs-Jack wedding: old Davids looking an awful old cad I suppose: Maggie on the complete fuss, and I hear the mystery V.C. was there an’ all. I should like to know how many more honours and stars and bars that man’s going to get!

Well so long old bird & the best of luck

Lots of love

from Ted


Dear Ted. “Ripping” is perhaps not the best way to describe silk undies. Now we know why Mrs Fielding might have been shocked though. It’s interesting he asks Jane to make them, she was a great flirt and probably the naughtiest of the sisters.

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG3360665/The-trousseau-all-a-girl-needs-before-the-big-day.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorget_patches

 
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Posted by on 24 January, '18 in About

 

21 January 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

M.E.F.

Jan 21/18

 

Dear Mother

No more mails in since I last wrote but we don’t expect them nowadays much under a fortnight, or 3 weeks interval. It’s been cold again this week, with frost and North winds. But it has been fine and cloudless though the sun has not been over-strong. All the same it’s good clean honest cold weather, not raw and misty like it was when it rained such a lot a week or so ago.

Our only excitement lately – yesterday in fact – was one of the very rare visits of a Turkish aeroplane. He was very high up, barely distinguishable, and I think he must have been on his way somewhere else. Anyhow he was’nt stopping here, and our “Archies” shelled him – unsuccessfully – to speed him on his way and he disappeared into the distance- one of our ‘planes, which fly round here pretty well every day, has not returned and they can get no news of him. A rotten country to get lost or stranded in, this, I should think as it is very sparsely inhabited, and then mostly by unfriendly arabs.

I got a wire from you a day or two ago, just one word “congratulations”; very many thanks : the general wired & told me they had given me a brevet so I suppose you have seen it in some list. I do hope they give some of the other officers & men something. They are sure to of course, later on I suppose, as of course they did all the dirty work and deserve a reward. But they run these things in their own way, & the method is only known to themselves. I fancy a good many decorations & rewards are bagged by higher officials which only leaves a very few for the rank & file who deserve at least as many, if not more than the “gilded staff”. However it’s not for me to criticise.

A very dull letter I’m afraid but there’s nothing to write about. I’m very fit & well.

Best love to all   yr loving son

Ted


Archies

http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-on-land/weapons-equipment-uniform/880-anti-aircraft-measures.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brevet_%28military%29

 
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Posted by on 21 January, '18 in About