Author Archives: Richard Berryman

25 May 1917 – Richard to Gertrude

Dear Mother

Many thanks for those S.B. bands. If some day you see in the paper I have the D.S.O. you’ll know it’s for the smart appearance of the Stretcher bearers, & I’ll give you a bit of it.

Please send me another pair of shorts. I’ll probably be sending some thick clothes home for you to keep safely!

Tell Ben I dined with the nice looking Stephens last night. “Dined” sounds grand but I wish you could see the conditions. The radishes are coming up.

Love to all

yr loving son


Topher is clearing away breakfast & sends his love.

You need’nt send any more porridge.

Richard’s teasing can fall a little flat when you read it, but it suggests he was fun and funny in person.

When I commented to my mother how much nicer Paul seemed than Richard, based on these letters, she responded rather tartly that it was the other way round in real life.

I suspect Richard may have had deployed that deliberate charm which is so bewitching when it’s focused on you, and so devastating when it’s withdrawn. 

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Posted by on 25 May, '17 in About


6 May 1917 – Richard to Gertrude


Dear Mother

Many thanks for the parcel porridge cake etc. Most welcome. Put some lux in next time. I am longing to use the Emergency rations. The tent has arrived & is lovely, keeps the rain out too, Topher & I put it up. The watch too has come, Thanks so much for all. I want a pair of Jaeger putties, would you send me some please. Thin sort if possible, don’t know if they make two weights.

I saw Nell’s brother the other day. Fancy meeting him just on the road.

Oh I know what I want, a pair of grey riding breeches in the big black tin box in the lumber room. They are in with that red coat & things I did’nt take to India. They are the same stuff as that suit of mine.

I am sending you £5 to pay postage etc for all these things. I see the cake & porridge always cost ¼ to send.

Send us some penny packets of seeds, mustard & cress, radishes, carrots sweet peas & taters, lettuce, vegetable marrow eh? Scarlet runners.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


Send me John Bull every week will you?

The instance on Jaegar puttees……!

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Posted by on 6 May, '17 in About


30 April 1917 – Richard to Gertrude



Dear Mother.

Many thanks indeed for parcel cake porridge etc. The crême-de-menth sweets are awfully good. The armlets too are quite alright, the rest you say will roll up allright. Did I tell you I wanted 16. If you could sew a biggish red S.B. on to them it would be nice, cut the SB out of a bit of stuff       no desperate hurry

Lovely now, so warm & I wish I was at home. I had a long letter from Ben. Tell her when you see her. I wonder if you have seen about the tent.

post going more later

yr loving son


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Posted by on 30 April, '17 in About


18 April 1917 – Richard to Gertrude



Dear Mother

Could you make me some white bands to tie round the arm. About as wide as this & measure 2  arm for length.

They are for my stretcher bearers.

So many thanks for cake porridge & lux. Most welcome nowadays

Love from both


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Posted by on 18 April, '17 in About


15 April 1917 – Richard to Gertrude



Dear Mother

Many thanks for your letter & the D.M. I expect the porridge will arrive soon.

I wonder if you could find out about a small lightweight tent. The advt was often in the Field & I meant to have seen about it when I came home but forgot. The stores may have it – It costs £7 and weighs 4 or vice versa, can’t remember.

Wet & beastly again today.

Best love

Yrs ever


My mother’s comment in her book of the letters:

This seems to have been almost too much, even from Dick who could do no wrong. The note on the envelope [written by his mother Gertrude] is a terse “tent” heavily underlined. 

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Posted by on 15 April, '17 in About


8 April 1917 – Richard to Gertrude

Easter Day


Dear Mother

Many thanks for the handkerchief. I am using it today. It arrived just right. The porridge, chocolate & cake all arrived safe. The chocolate just what I like & in the small pieces too. Much easier to carry one or two in your pocket. Send me some porridge once a week   I will send you the money as I charge the mess.

Happy Easter to all

Yr loving son



Such a nice card.

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Posted by on 8 April, '17 in About


5 April 1917 – Richard to Gertrude



Dear Mother

Many thanks for your letter & the daily Mirror. The porridge & chocolate have not arrived yet, but I expect they will soon. We still have some of the last lot of porridge. Jim’s regiment do seem to have been heroes. I am so anxious to read what the papers say. Is’nt this weather beastly. Snow & rain & cold & mud, however at present we are fairly comfortable & can make fires in old tins.

We are both very fit, someone I met tother day said I was getting fatter. Can you send me a little Lux. I am sending a watch home to be mended. Get it done as soon as you can & have a protector thing for it. Topher uses it and always smashes it, & it’s a good watch.

Best love to all

Yr loving son


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Posted by on 5 April, '17 in About