NEUVE CHAPELLE TRENCHES
13th-14th Nov. Enemy very Quiet. 15th Nov. Mon: Relieved by 1/6th Batt North Staffordshire Regt. Three Companies went into Brigade Reserve at LORETTO ROAD (1) and one Company into LANSDOWNE POST (2).
16th Nov. Tue: Loretto Road, Brigade Reserve.
Pte BERTIE HIBBETT: Y.M.C.A. POSTCARD to Mrs A. HIBBETT, 95 Foden Rd. Walsall.
You will not get my letter of Sunday 14th for some time, owing to circumstances (3). I am sorry because I know you are anxious as to whether the lovely large parcel of Oct 31st got safely through.
Poor Vernon – he was expecting a parcel tonight, he has not had one for so long. Had a nice one from Miss Foster (2) & such a nice letter.
Will write later. Am run short of paper.
(1) Loretto Road: trench named after road in Manchester by Manchester Regt.?
(2) Lansdowne Post: trench possiby named after Henry Fitz-Maurice 5th Marquis of Lansdowne. British statesman, Secretary of State for War, Foreign Secretary, served in both Liberal & Conservative & WW1 coalition Cabinets. Lost favour with publication of The Lansdowne Letter 29th Nov. 1917, calling for Britain & France to negotiate peace with Germany during the War.
(3) ‘Circumstances’? Pte Bertie’s Letter might have been delayed because:- The Post was not collected from Neuve Chapelle Trenches that day or his Bombing Course had taken him away from his usual Listening Post duties or perhaps this was the day of the ‘miraculous escape’ when ‘Four bombs & one dud … dropped at Chester Robinson’s feet’. (‘Little Book of Words & Doings‘ – but no record in Staffs War Diary or in Bertie’s letters).
NB ‘Bombs’ : Hand-grenades most likely – which did not explode when they fell through the bottom of their box? – or were picked up and thrown before exploding?
(4) Miss Mary Foster* Nottingham Godmother.
NEXT POST: 18th Nov. 1915. On the qui vive for something HOT.