15th May 1915, Sat: North Midland Farm shelled. A Fuse struck the Aid Post penetrating the wall. CASUALTIES: WOUNDED: Pte H.G. Ball. KILLED: Lt H.W.M. Parr* (1). 16th May, Sun: Very Quiet Day. WOUNDED: 2 Lt S.P. Smith and 8831 Pte J. A. Boulton. Relieved 1/6th South.
Pte BERTIE HIBBETT: ‘A Little Book of Words & Doings‘. May 16th. Sunday. Fine spread with Listening Post at tea. Lemon curd, cakes, tinned fruit etc. Vic Shaw*, Iky Boulton* and Norman Cope* with his loaf from home. Sunny bright weather. After tea with Listening Post, Sydney, who was then Lance Corporal, had tea with Corporal Hammond & Vernon, who arrived late. Choc biscuits & tinned pears. Vernon brought his cream. Hammond requested me to smoke Syd’s health, but I waited till – 17th May.
Pte BERTIE HIBBETT: POSTCRIPT of LETTER to Brother BASIL, 14th May 1915. which he says he has included in Letter to Sister Ida. (Censor WE Wright. Post stamped 5 days later).
Sunday. May 16th.
PS Syd & I got the birthday parcels which again arrived in spiffin’ condition. Oh how can I express the gratefulness I feel on seeing not only the many good things but reading such jolly letters, which I am certain you all individually made a special effort. Dad’s wittily made up note of good wishes was as good as any long letter. As for Mother’s, hers were the ones. I cannot express the thought which is in mind at present – but Syd & Mother seem both in one now – our thoughts are of his birthday.
We got a nice letter from Auntie*, who said you had written to her of late. I think her parcel will just arrive on the day, 17th. (I’m sorry you did not get the letter in time to read my proposed date for sending the parcel. I said 13th or 14th I believe ) (2). The weather has been rather chilly & changeable, but it is warm & sunny at present.
In my next letter I will tell you about another successful attempt at making my favourite bread & butter pudding. Mother will, I know, be especially interested, for she wanted to know how our chums were & she knows how I like the above named pudding.
Well I must be concluding now. Vernon told me about you coming from B’ham with his sister & I remembered you to him this morning. Your letter was ripping too & Ida’s was a capital one. How good of you to send both the tins of chunks & apricots. (3)
I must stop now, I could go on for ever & I see the pencil seconds it , I don’t think!
Best love to all, Bertram.
(1) Lt. H. Parr* one of Bertie Hibbett’s favourite officers. cf Post NB Keeping the Names Page up to date with refs in Letters is proving difficult. (2) Getting Birthday Presents & Letters ‘on the right‘ (day) was important to the Hibbett family. (3) Pineapple chunks.
NEXT POST: 17th May, 1915. Coming of Age in the Trenches.