25 March 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

25 Mar

March 25/18


Dear Mother

Very many thanks for 2 letters which I got from you by rather an unexpected mail 2 days ago- They are dated 16th & 22nd Jany. You said a lot about Paul’s wedding in them and it seemed very uncertain when it was eventually. I could’nt send him a cable, as I had’nt the vaguest idea when it was. No Fortnum & Mason boxes have arrived yet, I am afraid they must have been stolen, as they are so much overdue. We could do with them now, as we are on very short commons just at present.

We moved from our last camp a day or two ago, marched 15 miles, and then came on another 9 the same night, reaching camp eventually at 1.30 in the morning! A longish day, 24 miles in marching order- We have once more bid farewell to tents for a few days, but it is slightly warmer now, though still cloudy, and very cold at nights. We have heard very little news lately, except that the Boche seems to have launched his big offensive on a 50 mile front in France.

I am sending some photographs along, chiefly of me, which were taken for Nell’s benefit. Also some shooting groups, & camps, now broken up. They are’nt so bad. I hope you got the last lot from the stores, & I hope to have some more to send you shortly. Films seem very hard to get nowadays, and I have only one roll left, so am preserving them most carefully.

Meat appears hard to get at home, but I am sure it’s a good thing to have compulsory rationing, & from the papers it seems to be successful. If I come home I suppose I shall have to have sugar cards & meat cards & I’m sure I shan’t know how to use them, & I hope I shan’t be put in prison for eating too much!

So specs is still exempt! Ah well, I expect he will be roped in before long- How he can – well, never mind, I suppose he knows best- I do believe it’s going to rain for a few minutes, a huge black cloud has turned up so I may have to stop while it goes on-

I wonder what Dick’s surprise for you was. Yes he’ll be glad indeed that the cold weather is over. I have seen lots of pictures of the snowbound western front in the papers this week, & it certainly does look fearfully chilly. I see Sir Douglas Haig has mentioned the Indian Cavalry specially; good-

Re the Saturday Review; you need’nt renew the subscription, as I may be coming home on leave- so leave it for the present will you? We get the Spectator in the mess, & the S.R. gives another point of view, so I—- interval here for ¼ hour heavy rain, jolly! – think I should like it continued eventually. Your letter of Jan 15th says you had just got my letters of Nov 7 & 11th; what years ago! What a lot of new jobs for women there seem to be now, the “Waacs” & the “Wrens” an’ all, I think it’s splendid they all set to work.

The miners don’t seem very keen on a “comb-out” do they, but they would get heaps of men if they did- I see too we have been bombing German towns a lot lately, with a good deal of success too, & our air corps seems to be always downing a lot of their ‘planes with very little loss to themselves. We were wondering if Rosslyn Wemyss’ appointment as 1st Sea Lord means more naval activity.

Another interval for rain and lunch, and now the sun is out again, lovely and warm.

I don’t know when the mail goes, but I suppose this will catch something if I post it today.

Must end up now

Best love to all

yr loving son


I do wonder who “Specs” was and what he did – and didn’t do – during the war to earn so many mentions from Ted.

Haig’s despatch 20/2/18

Article on Miners’ ballot against combout for national service, allusions to Bolshevism


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