Monthly Archives: October 2016

30 October 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

30th. Same address


Dear Mother

Many thanks for your letter written 12th. Those fools at Marseilles never gave me several letters which you had written ages before. They only sent them on the other day. That lamp arrived & it is a Godsend. Just in the nick of time as I had actually that moment run out of candles. Thanks awfully for it. The glass was smashed but that does’nt matter & such elegant furniture would be rather out of place in a dug out.

I’ve left the billets now and am up with a party just behind the lines digging roads etc. How the girls will be amused to think that at last I am at the front. However it’s not very dangerous here, only an occasional shell goes over. Our guns all round make a lot of noise, & it’s a nuisance at night to have your candle put out by an extra big bang. One put the lamp out last night.

It’s absolutely rotten weather & the mud is awful. I shan’t be sorry when I go back again. I’d like some candles & a writing block about this size & some envelopes

Please thank Ben for her letter. I must try & get the Rouen one. Lots of letters arrived from Karachi forwarded. Best love to all.

Yr loving son


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Posted by on 30 October, '16 in About


Sept and Oct 1916 – Ted’s Diary

Nell - with her hair up

Nell – with her hair up

My mother quotes Ted’s diary in her book of the letters, saying:

His diary from the end of August onwards, is more a record of 1915 than of the current year.

Sunday, 27 August 1916: Col Hogg arived to command 3rd Bn. – Y.M.C.A. tent day at Sneedhams Green, 1915! – Nell saw me for the first time, but I never saw her!

After recording little more than ‘Wrote Nell’ on the succeeding days he comes to

Thursday, 7 September 1916: Davies’ tea party at Sneedhams Green a year ago today where I first met Nelll.

Sunday 10 Sept, 1916: Wrote Nell (170) Dance at Broadsground this time last year & I first spoke to Nell!

If Ted wrote his 170th letter to Nell after being parted for about 250 days, he was writing to her most days even though the mails went once a week and took a month or so to arrive.

Friday 15 Sept 1916: Wrote Nell (176) My first lunch at Broadsground this time last year!

Wednesday, 20 Sept 1916: Wrote Nell (181) Tea at Broadsground with Nell last year!

Thursday, 21 Sept 1916: Wrote Nell (182) – C.O. gave me R.H.S. bronze medal today

Friday, 6 Oct 1916: Nell put up her hair a year ago today.

Nell - with her hair down

Nell – with her hair down

For the Edwardians and during the War, putting up her hair signified that a girl should now be considered a young woman. Nell’s waist-length hair had never been cut, and she wore it in one or two plaits. When she put it up, she wore the plaits curled around her ears; later in life she wore them at the nape of her neck.

At a month off her 18th birthday, Nell was considerably younger than Ted who was 33 when they met. 

Sunday, 8 Oct 1916: Wrote Nell (196) – over to Cheltenham in the car last year, came back with Nell.

Friday, 27 Oct 1916: Left Landsdowne 8 a.m., arrived Kohdwara 4 p.m. … Hot march & men tired. Entrained 9.30 & off at 10 p.m.

Saturday, 28 Oct 1916: Arrived Delhi (Kingsway) 8 a.m. Nothing ready in camp, as tents had arrived but no poles! Camp hear Durbar polo grounds, between them and Kingsway Station. Familiar ground of the Durbar of Xmas 1911. Wrote Nell (213).

Sunday, 29 Oct 1916: Pitching camp all day. I went up to Viceregal Lodge 3 or 4 times to see about guards etc as the Viceroy turns up tomorrow. — This time last year! THE happiest day of my life — Wrote Nell (214).

Ted and Nell - Autumn 1915

Ted and Nell – Autumn 1915

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Posted by on 29 October, '16 in About


25 October 1916 – Ted to Gertrude

Oct 25/16


Dear Mother

Many thanks for your letter last week, dated Sept 26. You were just off to Pitney when you wrote, & I was very glad to hear it as I’m sure you deserve a bit of a rest and change, & I do hope you had a quiet restful time. Yes, I saw about poor Guy Crossman being reported killed now; as you say I don’t know what Mrs Crossman will do.

It must have been ripping having old Topher home, & for such a long leave. I had most enthusiastic letters from Nell about her stay in Guildford & she evidently thoroughly enjoyed her dear self. You all say such nice things about her and it’s awful nice to hear them. She seems to have put off her departure several times.

Of course the weather up here now is absolutely perfect, gorgeously cold & fresh, air like chanpagne & sunny & bright all day, with generally a lovely sunset. The views of the hills are lovely and the snows are absolutely indescribable, especially in the evening when the setting sun just catches them and turns them all pink. We got a wire a day or two ago saying we had to be in Delhi before the 30th, as the Viceroy was going there then. So all is hurry & bustle now & you must excuse a scrappy letter, as I really am rather busy. I have got up specially early to write this & it’s a lovely morning. We leave here on 27th & entrain the same day I hope; & reach Delhi on 28th, but everything seems very uncertain just at present.

What alarming Zepp raids ther’ve been lately, and it’s near to hear the S. coast had been attacked; I wish they’d tell us more. The news is fairly good still, though I’m afraid the Roumanians are rather hard pressed. However, I expect they’ll manage to keep their end up.

Must fly off & finish up some office work.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


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Posted by on 25 October, '16 in About


23 October 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

Oct 23.


Dear Mother.

I’ve had 3 letters sent up from Marseilles. The last you wrote from Pitney I think. There must be some gaps as you only say Topher enjoyed his leave & never said when he had it & for how long. I don’t think I want any clothes thanks. I expect I’ll be wanting some sox soon.

I wonder if all those boxes have arrived yet to load up the overcrowded house. Jim’s are there now I suppose. You will be boxed when all mine arrive. Jim seems to have had a nice quiet wedding. I wonder why they want to send him to India, I daresay he’ll like it, & Ted will be pleased to have him near. Mrs Berryman going if he goes?

Please send me a lanyard thing one carries a whistle on round your shoulder. I want a red one as that’s what medical people have in the cavalry. No good unless red. I’d also like one of those canteens you get from Pound’s. I’ll send you a cheque when Cox send me a cheque book.

If Jim would like one of those, Teapot, sugar basin & cream just, set complete from Harrods £2.6.0 I’ll give him one. Ask Mrs Berryman what she wants. I’m not very rich, but I expect Dreda is saving up something for my leave is’nt she? She generally does collect for us I believe.

I must write to Paul as I may be able to wangle a drop of leave & I’d like to get it when he does.

What a rag eh?

I heard from Ben, poor old thing, she still seems very sad.

I hope my breeches will hurry up. I’ve only one pair of them over. Poor Chubbie I do hope she is better by this time. I hope the shop was not shut when my friend called.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


Similar (?) creamer

Similar lanyard

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Posted by on 23 October, '16 in About


18 October 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

Wednesday 18th


Dear Mother

That address I gave you yesterday is all right, as I hear tonight I am to be permanent. I am quite pleased as it’s a good job & later on I’ll get a regiment if I want one. I want some breeches. There should be two pairs arriving soon from Karachi. Send me the new pair will you, as I only have one pair here & I’ve bust them already.

I can’t get any leave yet I fancy. We can go to Paris, but I want to save up my money for home. Tell the girls at last I’ve heard a gun fired in anger in the distance! but I’ve not been in any battles yet.

I am longing to hear if Topher is anywhere near & if I only had his address I might find out & if he’s anywhere near I could hop over & see him.

It is muddy out here & cold, but if it only stays like this I shan’t mind. I am at a place quite near a place the cathedral of which you’ll see in the last Sphere all sand bagged. The door I think it is. I might just as well tell you the name but it’s so mysterious like this & perhaps you’ll spend 6d. Could you get me an acetylene lamp like you sent Topher.

Must write to some of the girls.

yr loving son



Nr Amiens


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Posted by on 18 October, '16 in About


17 October 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

Dear Mother.

Would you write to me at this address

104 Inhow Indian Cavalry Field Ambulance
2nd Indian Cavalry Division

If I don’t stay here they will be sent on alright I think alright. I hope I do stay here as it’s quite a nice job & a decent mess. We are in billets, but we don’t know how long we shall be here. I rather wanted a regiment but I daresay I can get one later on. Quite happy here at present.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


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Posted by on 17 October, '16 in About


13 October 1916 – Richard to Gertrude

Oct 13.


Dear Mother.

Many thanks for your letter I got from                      here. But only one! any others will be forwarded & I will give you an address next time I write. Off to the front tonight with no one to see me off! Please tell the girls “Mr Martyr”! I am joining a Calvalry regiment, but do not know which yet.

On the back of this is a list of luggage which will arrive some old time. Do let me know where Topher is. No one ever sent me his address. I am writing in the train a few secs before we start. We’ve been here 1½ days but I’ve been so busy.

Love to all

Yr loving


Thank Jane for the Combined k f & spoon.

Dickinson, a friend who used to drop food on Kat is going to see Jane & Chubbie


1 black uniform case, new.

1 uniform case old.

1 small tin uniform case in crate

1 green canvas lunch basket

1 sml case leather empty.

1 small bundle of sticks.

1 tent.

1 box of cigar

1 bundle of bed.


KFS set!Combined-KnifeForkSpoon-Set/zoom/cnhi/imagev9m

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Posted by on 13 October, '16 in About


12 October 1916 – Ted to Gertrude


Oct 12/16

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter last week. I see this week’s mail did’nt leave till 2 days late so I suppose there will be another long delay in getting my letters. I don’t suppose that old picture will have turned up just yet, & as you say when it does turn up I expect it will be so beautifully packed that you won’t like to open it. Very many thanks for the Daily Mirror and the falling Zepp pictures, much appreciated in the mess, it must have been a wonderful sight & Robinson earned his V.C. all right. Of course all the other airmen were just as plucky & would have done just the same, given the chance; but someone’s got to have the luck, after all have’nt they, & they should benefit accordingly.

Also for the Guildford Chronicle, whatever its name is, with the account of Jim’s wedding in it. I see they got “many & valuable presents”. Nell wrote & said she had chosen a cigarette box for Jim, but she did’nt describe the trickiness of it. She tells me she has been doing night work for a fortnight, & apparently they are going to change about like that in future; rather a good plan I think as the night work must be very trying.

We have had a tremendous lot of rain lately, quite unusual, but thank goodness it has more or less cleared up now, & it is fine at anyrate though cloudy. The air is ever so much colder too, & much more bracing & pleasant than that awful relaxing rains atmosphere.

Yes, I saw Gladys Lloyd’s picture in the Tatler, or some paper, but of course did’nt recognise her in the least. Was that the one they used to call Mar? And is Kitty married yet, & I wonder what John & Arthur are doing; I don’t quite know why I’ve suddenly shot off late into this diversion on the Lloyds!

Is that the Fish, as Bridget used to call him, in today’s casualty list; I see a Captain R.W. Fisher of the Northumberland Fusiliers killed, & I was wondering if it was he; I seem to think it must be. Yes that cable you mention was from me, a trifle late for the wedding I’m thinking. I’m so awfully glad to hear you say Ben is better again; it relieves me greatly. I had a line from Phyllis Morris last mail & she said Ben had been to see them at Shanklin.

No news here; no more orders or excitements, I suppose we shall suddenly get orders one day to be in Delhi the next. I don’t think the Viceroy will be there till after Christmas as he is going on a long tour to Burma & all over the place.

Are’nt those Germans beyond all hope now that they’ve started a submarine campaign in American waters. How those Yanks can sit under it I can’t think, & Wilson has made a very poor show all round has’nt he.  The land news is good though, & I think Bapaume will soon be ours, & that will make a tremendous difference. Must change for a game of hockey now.

Love to all

from your loving son



Relevant Daily Mirror scans on 6/9/16

Captain Raymond Wadhams Fisher, Intelligence Officer

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Posted by on 12 October, '16 in About


3 October 1916 – Ted to Gertrude


Oct 3.1916.

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter last week, which I got when we were out shooting, Guy Mainwaring & I. We were only out 3½ days, & went more for a loaf & a change than anything else; we bagged 16 birds, pottering about, but we had plenty of gorgeous walking & climbing & outdoor life which did us no end of good. Fortunately the weather “held”, I believe that is correct, for since we have been bck it has poured here all & every day. Never in the memory of the oldest inhabitant has there been such a year for rain as this; the rains proper should have ended a week ago at the latest, but here we are well into October & no sign of them stopping yet. I wish we could see the sun again & this continual dampness is very depressing.

So Jim & Sheina were married earlier than you expected, & consequently my cable, which I knew would be late enough in all conscience for the 9th, must have been truly late for the 6th. However I don’t suppose that matters much. Sorry to hear about Mrs Gabb, I didn’t know she had a stroke & things. Air raids seem very much the order of the day now, but we always seem to bag one or two every time they come over, which is a distinct improvement on former days, & they drop their bombs pretty wildly. And splendid news from the Western Front still; what a wonderful place Thiepval must have been, & still more wonderful the way – and comparatively easy way too – which we captured it. I expect there will be more advances yet before the winter, & it’s more than likely the Bosche may find it the wisest plan to go back altogether before it is too late.

Nell writes very cheery letters still & seems delighted with the bureau. She is still hard at work at her old hospital & tells me she went in for a Red X exam in September but did’nt think she would pass, but I expect she did all right.

No further news of our going to Delhi, except that we know we are going. Of course camp there is very comfy, a great big hut all to oneself, with a boarded floor, & electric light an’ all. But all the same I can’t raise much enthusiasm over the prospect of going there somehow. I don’t believe we are even going on manoeuvres now. The powers that be seem to be all over the shop, & the move of our 1st Batt: to Quetta has been temporarily postponed, so we are still very congested in the barracks & there’s hardly any room for all the men.

We are having 10 days’ holiday now as it’s a big Hindu festival which lasts ten days. But Holiday only means parades are off; I spend hours in the office daily as usual. Today is the big day, when they cut off the heads of 50 or 60 goats, & 2 huge buffaloes, as a sort of sacrifice, a ghastly sight, & they will always ask us to go & see it. I suppose I must go, as I’m commander for a few days as DB is away on a staff ride, & I expect they’ll be expecting me. It’s pouring with rain, but they said wet or fine. I hate the show, it’s so barbarously primitive & bloodthirsty & a horrible sight as you may imagine, & quite indescribable. It’s 1.30 now, so I must trot off. Hope you manage to find my sword & Coat warm, unless someone has bagged the latter.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


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Posted by on 3 October, '16 in About



1 October 1916 – Ted to Gertrude


Sept 26/16
[From context the date was probably October 1st 1916]

Dear Mother

I got the mail letters from you this mail, somehow or other you must have missed the mail last week. Your letters are dated 24th & 31st August, and very many thanks for them.

I don’t think I have very much to tell you. I went out for a week end, just Saturday & Sunday, with Guy Mainwaring to try & get a few hill partridge, but it was a rotten sort of wet day & we only got 3 birds. However we had a lot of top hole walking & climbing & exercise generally, a pleaasant change from the ordinary routine of this place. The rains seem to be giving one final ducking before they stop, for really the last two days have been quite impossible; incessant rain and it’s getting quite cold too. My cold bath of a morning is really cold nowadays; it’s generally quite luke warm up here in the summer.

Did I tell you we are under orders for Delhi this cold weather? Anyway, we are; as we’ve been finding the Viceroy’s escort all the summer at Simla, it follows on a natural course that we should go as a regiment to Delhi when he moves to Delhi for the winter. There will be other troops there of course, but we shall be the sort of specials. In ordinary times it’s rather nice, lots to do there and a centre of gaiety of course; but I don’t know that I’m a bit keen to go just now; for one thing it’s sure to be expensive living there, and I’d much rather not go with the regiment as it is now, so many pals gone. However, I expect it will be all right when we get there. I believe we are going on manoeuvres for a week or two first, & then go to Delhi, but I have no idea of dates etc.

I had a long letter from Ben this mail at Seaview; I wonder if she has been able to settle down to anything yet. I also had a short note from Jim, saying he was to be married on the 9th, & I saw the notice in the weekly times too. He seems to have done things in a typically erratic way as usual, & made up his mind on the spurs of various moments. Poor old Jane, I hope she managed to find someone to do her job, or else was unable to shut up the shop for a bit so as she could get away for her holiday.

For all his cables & hurried orders I believe Dick only left on the 18th after all; he wired me on the 14 August that he was off next day, but I heard several times from him in Bombay, & I believe he really did sail on the 18th of this month. You will have heard by now of course what his orders are more or less, & I suppose he’s going to join a field ambulance, probably a cavalry one, with the Indian cavalry, or he may be going to an Indian cavalry regiment as doctor. So glad to get good news of Topher; yes, he’s bound to be popular & I expect he does his job well too. I should think they’d open leave again before Christmas. Air raids I see are still the order of the day, but how splendid bringing down two in the last one; we got Reuters wire about it yesterday. We really do seem to have done something to drive off these raids at last.

Yes, Dryden told me some time ago she was sending me “Trench Yarns”, but they have’nt turned up yet. Nell seems very fit, and sent me a photograph of the bureau, & seems delighted with it. What a splendid choice Ben made. She sent me “the Eve” book, you know those weird but really clever drawings out of the Tatler.

We are supposed to be having a Battalion parade at 9.30, but unless the weather cheers up a bit I’m afraid it’ll have to be off. I must go up to the mess & have some breakfast now, off one of Sunday’s bag of partirdges.

By the way you know that Jaeger British warm I had in Gloucester, a big double breasted one, with leather buttons, light colour, belonged to someone who sent it to us? Could you send that out to me, as I want it for Delhi, unless one of the rest of the family have bagged it meantime. Jinny would know the one I mean, & I expect you all do. It’s an awful nice one, & I hope it’s still available.

Lots of love to all

from your loving son


Somewhere Over Essex – Notebook on Zepp raids

Trench Yarns for Subalterns & Others by ‘Peter’ – middle left

Brushes & Bayonets – book featuring “Eve”

Ted is probably wearing his British Warm in the photograph below.

Gladys Ted Nell Jane and Bellows 1915

Gladys Fielding, Ted Berryman, Nell Fielding, Jane Berrryman, Belinda Berryman,
Gloucestershire 1915


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Posted by on 1 October, '16 in About