21 June 1917 – Richard to Gertrude

21 Jun



Dear Mother,

Many thanks for your letter from Totland Bay. I hope the clothes’ll come soon. We’ve managed to get a Gramaphone after all & the records are awfully good. Fancy getting a leaf out of the Garden of Eden, and fancy having a son in command of a Regt. I expect it’s a relief to Ted, to have DB [Col Drake-Brockman] ]out of his way for a bit.

J.B is up to time nowadays. Those raids were alarming. I do hope they don’t try Guildford again. More clothes lumbering home me dear! Huge parcel but undo it & get out that German Hospital placard, rather interesting.

I do hope Ted sticks to the Command, but I doubt it, his being only a Capt, yet quite capable.

Dreda tells me she is going on the land after all. How will she like it in the winter.

Such a hailstorm yesterday. We’ve tried the eggs. Jolly good & Topher has also made some cherry jam, most awfully good. Another paper for Kirwan to sign, the other are lost!

I’m told I’m getting fatter. I heard from Mr Gosse. Topher is a great fisherman with Gosse’s reel.

Best love to all

Send some more books during the next week or two. I’ll want them, also some lemonade powder

Yr loving son


As a doctor, Richard would have been behind the lines, presumably in a semi-permanent medical station. Even so, Topher’s gardening, fishing and jam-making seems extraordinary to modern eyes. It’s easy to forget the scale of the infrastructure in France supporting the troops in the trenches on the Western Front. 

My brother told me that Ted’s CO, Col Drake Brockman, was the only British field officer who survived serving in the First World War who ended the war the same rank as he started it. I have not checked this, but he certainly comes across as finicky and rather fussy in his book With The Royal Garhwal Rifles In The Great War, From August 1914 to November 1917

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Posted by on 21 June, '17 in About


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