21st Dec. 1914: Saffron Walden: Stolen Blankets & Packing for France.

Bertie in UniformPte BERTIE HIBBETT: Pages 34 – 37 of Long Letter to FAMILY, of 95, Foden Road, Walsall. (1)

. . .    ‘nice’ long letter for us.

One thing I must not forget to tell you & its that Sid is as eager to write home as I am, but he thinks I won’t give him the chance.  Well it’s Christmas & I want to give you something to read over the bright evening fire, just before it goes dark you know,  just for you to read plainly, & then finish up by eating cake & jellies – eh! you’ll forgive me won’t you.

So Sid sent his belt home.  I fancied I missed seeing him with it on.  I miss mine if I leave it off, for I do feel cold & loose round the waist.  I meant to tell Mother to send the waistcoat & pants; did you read in one of my far off letters, that we could not possibly manage one more even tiny article, so stuffed were our haversacks & valises, & the weight you know. So forgive us sending them home (meaning to write for them in the future).

So you did get the blankets etc. after all,  – ah! the police service is good, if the inhabitants aren’t.  What was their excuse & apology?

Have you noticed that since Dad told us not to worry about rumours, we have not told you of them since (the latest ones you know).  Some say  we’ve got to do such a  horrid thing as wash up the dishes on Christmas morning.  No. 1 Section of ‘A’ Coy’s turn hits on that time.  Others say  we’ve got to go to Dunstable or Luton or Walsall??  to fire the course with our new rifles we had when at Bishop’s Stortford. I wish it  was the latter place  but no –  the Xmas dinners were ordered sometime ago so we’re settled for here.

A Lance Corporal, who always makes jokes without a twist of a smile, put my name down for leave to go home.  I said “Could my brother go too.”  “Yes,” he said quite willingly.  Ah! not to be trusted is that busy body.

Hush! – we are going to hang up our valises on Christmas Eve . . .

ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB 2009

(1) Long Letter most likely sent a few days before Christmas, 1914.

NEXT POST: 24th Dec. 1914: Present for Dad.

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