Wednesday (annotated: “Nov? 1914”)
Thanks for your letter – I also received the sausages which will no doubt be much appreciated by A.27.
We are moving over to the grandstand today & just as we have got everything ready packed up & all, it has started to pour with rain & I’m sitting in the tent on a bundle of blankets writing this.
The cigarette card is quite good – I wonder what relation he was to us –
The C.O. told us last night we should be going out to France in December – the Battalion drank the Canteen nearly dry on the strength of it! We are going to hurry on with the drill next week.
I shan’t be sorry to get out of this old tent, it is a fearful squash & things get so dirty – I hope the grandstand will be more comfortable. I’ll be down on Saturday I expect.
Your loving son
This letter is a frustratingly scanty glimpse of Jim. He was billeted at Kempton Park Racecourse waiting for orders for France which suggests that he may have joined the Public Schools Battalion which were based there in the first few months of the War, though later records show him with the Middlesex Regiment.
I don’t know what A.27. refers to, or who was on the cigarette card. Frustratingly, this is the only one of Jim’s letters that has survived possibly because it was filed with the letters from Ben. There is no indication of what happened to the rest of his letters.
Jim is mentioned by the other brothers in their letters. We see him in Richard’s letters in 1915 in England, and at some point he got a commission and served on the Western Front. It would be possible to work out where he was and when, but only via the military records.