5th September 1914: Training in Luton

Bertie in Uniform

PTE BERTIE  HIBBETT in LUTON, POSTCARD to his Father at 95, Foden Road, Walsall. 

ARTHUR HIBBETT:   56 in 1914.
56 in 1914.

Sep 5th Dad                                                                                                                                                                                           Sep. 5/  1914


We had a good reception when we arrived in Luton, the people handed us cups & jugs of real good tea when they knew we had travelled from Walsall.   I saw 2nd Lieut. Cozens this morning on parade.  He is not with us.  Like Hemming, he is more sociable with  his Company, talking with them at ease, with his hands folded like the Prince of Wales.  He looked at the Battalion I was in & I believe we both stared at each other for a minute or two, but being so far away I could not say whether he knew it was myself.

Syd and I both want knives & forks for they do not provide them  (not yet at any rate) so send two sets please.  (Crossed out with ‘They have now’ above ). We shall not be writing everyday.  I think we are moving our quarters today.  We will give the permanent address when we are settled.

                                                                                        Cock Robin.

Note to Mother on the back of Postcard:  Dear Mother, Syd is just writing to you and will send them on tomorrow night..

Bedford Road, Luton. 1914. [NB. Little changed in the 1960s when I walked across the park from my flat on Old Bedford Road to Luton High School, my first teaching post. EFW]
PTE BERTIE HIBBETT:  POSTCARD to his Sister IDA  nicknamed ‘Champion’.

IDA HIBBETT. 27 in 1914.

Sept 5th /1914           Afternoon.

Dear Ida,  

Syd & I are now sitting under an oak tree, which are common around here (lovely estate full of them just near). We have four or five little Cockney lads round us, they have been bird catching & have shown us the cage they catch them in.

Lovely afternoon. Capt. Lees has not had orders referring to the O.T.C. for this afternoon’s occupation.  The Terriers have gone off on rifle inspection. 1/2 mile of soldiers all in fours marched about 6 miles & back for entrenching. You should have seen the sight. Officers on H orseback. General Sir Stewart Whortley inspected us, ruddy war worn face he had. Asked Syd where we had come from. Guessed we were fine fellows of the O.T.C.

Songs for you to sing & play at home. Another version of John B’s napsack.  20,000 troops here. More soldiers than civilians. Oh its jolly so far.                                                          Ta-ra. Bert.

PTE BERTIE HIBBETT:  POSTCARD to his youngest Brother, BASIL, nicknamed ‘Dodger’ 16 in 1914.

BASIL HIBBETT: 16 in 1914.

Sept 5th/ 1914 about 5.45 pm.


It’s Tommy’s life to a T singing and talking all night. Four kind friends let us sleep in their bunks but I had to sleep on the floor with a great coat & blanket.  I slept in my trousers. ‘Reveille’ was grand., but unique sensation. That flash lamp would have been very useful & will be while we are in England – if you care to send it.

                                                                                        Ta-ra.  Your affec Bertie.

‘John Brown’s washing is hanging in the line. Ditto Ditto Ditto. And he’s only got one sock on. Glory Alleluia etc. etc.’

NEXT POST:  9th October 1914`: Training in Luton.

NEXT PAGE to be published:  Walsall Express & Star 3/4/ 1919.  Visit to Battlefields in France. H.B.Lane (Major RAMC) onetime M.O. 6th S.Staffords.



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