12 November 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

12 Nov

Sunday 12th


Dear Mother

Many thanks for your letters & the parcels, but no breeches yet! or Socks. The loofas, caramels, paper & canteen are here & many thanks for all. I expect you’ll hear Topher & I have met. It was nice being able to see him & I think he was pleased too. He looked awfully fit, but most anxious to get out of his job & I am doing my best for him.

I am out of the danger zone at present, but may be off again. It’s very nice down here, quiet & nothing much doing. I went to tea yesterday with a countess & was very much struck by one of her daughters. The money has come, many thanks for it.

What a pity I did’nt know about Wiggs before. Ben has written & I could easily have gone & seen where he is buried poor boy. However if I go up again I will go & see at once.

The lanyard is very smart. And very many thanks.

Must post this.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


Wiggs, whose full name was Ivan Provis Wentworth Bennett, was killed on the Somme on the 13th or 14th July 1916.

He is buried at Thiepval, his body having been moved there in 1931. His remains weren’t identified until they were moved from another location also on the Somme and the original CWGC entry records an Unknown British Officer. His body was identied from his officers tunic with its regimental buttons and badges, from an engraved pencil case, and from his dental records.

This is just one tiny example of the astonishingly detailed work done by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission around the world matching archived documents with what are effectively archaeological finds.

However, in late 1916 it seems unlikely that Dick could have found Wiggs’ grave. 

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Posted by on 12 November, '16 in About


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