Aug 30 1915
I arrived here yesterday to help in an exam for N.C.O’s for promotion. I had a ripping weekend with Kathleen, we went to a theatre on Saturday & went down to Bath on Sunday. She is a dear, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself there. I went down on the bike & had a ripping run, & no excitements. I only left Bristol at 12 on Monday, intending to be back in time for lunch, but owing to various troubles, engine & petrol etc etc (I am really picking up any amount of miscellaneous information about mo bikes) I took 4 hours to come the 35 miles!
Arriving at Gloucester I found orders waiting for me to come on here, to take this exam today. So I just stopped in camp & had tea & then came on here on the bike, a most gorgeous ride through lovely country, very hilly but most glorious views. It’s about 20 miles from Gloucester, so I had quite a good day on the bike, & came from Gloucester here without any troubles. I am living with the 8th Worcesters; they have their mess in the Gloucester Golf Club house, & this camp is all over the links. How you would all laugh, I am doing the musketry part of the exam with Lord Deerhurst, whoever he may be; never heard of him before. Anyhow he is a cheery old colonel, with a nice round red face, he stands me drinks when we are not on parade-
I expect I shall go back to Gloucester on Thursday, & I am going down to Bristol again for the weekend & am going to try & get Monday off as well this time.
Very hot here today, but it seems to be a lovely place & there are a whole load of troops there. We have been hard at it all day, very tiring, & I am writing this in the Y.M.C.A tent while the men are having a written exam. Lord D’s chauffeur is cleaning my bike now; I hope the old boy does’nt find out, as I collared him on the sly to do it.
Love to all yr loving son
He was to visit Gloucester frequently that autumn. My mother took up the story when she edited the letters in the 1980s:
John Fielding, a director of a large Gloucester engineering firm, lived in a big house on the hill above the camp and, like everyone else in England, offered hospitality to the officers in the neighbourhood. The Fieldings were not a large family by Berryman standards – five girls and a boy – and only four of them were at home just then. Jack, due to go up to Cambridge to read engineering, was training instead with the Royal Artillery, and Marjorie, one of the three eldest girls, was on tour, having embarked on the theatrical career she was shortly to abandon for the duration of the war to work as a personnel officer in a munitions factory in Woolwich. Gladys and Louie were involved with Red Cross work and Nell, the fourth daughter, was about to begin a shorthand and typing course with the idea of going into ‘the Works’ – the family firm. Isabel (Bellows), the youngest, was still at school. Gladys, Louie, Nell and Bellows who were invited to tea in the camp by an officer returning hospitality who asked Ted to come along to help him entertain them.