Pte BERTIE HIBBETT to PATER, at 95 Foden Road, Walsall
My Dear Dad,
Many thanks for the Postal Order. I got two tins of Borace Powder specially made with holes in a revolving lid (1). My feet have got much better since last Home Leave, but just after this 21 mile march they have got a bit sore again.
I guess Syd has told you all the news, but I don’t think he has mentioned that the late Mr. Hoyle the late Inspector of Schools in Luton, died about May of this year (2). The people here say he was a Yorkshireman & the present Inspector is a Mr. Carter, but they don’t know where he has come from.
I won’t forget to send a newspaper to York (3) when I go abroad. What’s the idea?
I will not say much more for I am very much afraid of repeating Syd’s news, so I’ll shut up. I will just say one more thing & that is please give Mother the pamphlet “India at War” (4) for I know she is greatly interested about the attitude of India. I have bought several of these little instructive pamphlets which I am sending to Harold who is another literary enthusiast!
Best love from your affectionate son, Bertie.
(1) ‘Borace’ – a trade-name? for Borax powder (salt of boric acid) used to treat fungus and athlete’s foot. Bertie’s ill-fitting boots led to blisters, and trench- foot during the War – and afterwards to hammer-toe bunions & a painful, unsuccessful foot operation in his 60s. (2) Mr.Hoyle may have been a Schools Inspector colleague of Bertie’s father. (3) York was the home of Bertie’s Grandfather, Henry Hibbett (b. 1824 – d.1891), a Master Plumber and Glazier in the 1860s. Sanitation Reform, after the Cholera Epidemic of 1839, may have brought him to York from farm-labouring in Rutland. (4) The Indian Army (of well over a million soldiers) is said to be the largest WW1 Volunteer Army. Twelve Indian Soldiers won the Victoria Cross, six on the Western Front. (5)
Next Post:11th Nov. 1914: ‘Still in Luton’ (3). Bertie to his sister Ida.