Bertie in UniformPte BERTIE HIBBETT, Merville Casualty Clearing Station: LETTER to MOTHER, Marie, Neal Hibbett, 95 Foden Rd Walsall. (1)

‘They shall obtain joy & gladness & sorrow & sighing shall flee away’. Isaiah Chap 35. (2).

New Year’s Day 1916.  The Circumcision. (3)

I wonder if Sydney let the New Year In for you?  If what he told me in his letter of Dec 23 was true he ought to be with you now, & I hope you are all as happy as ’ole (sic). I think such a time would be a convenient opportunity for Harold & Miss Bore & Harold’s ‘Best Man’ to have thespree’ (4).

I can’t squeeze anymore to tell you, but I will conclude :– ‘Mrs Hibbett, do you take any pre-cau-shuns’ (said by someone in St George’s Parish). (5).

‘Patients are directed NOT to have their parcels & letters addressed to this Hospital’.  I am anxious about any more parcels getting lost & letters tooSo dear Mum I have been trying to keep you very busy reading my letters until I get somewhere, when you will be able to write to me.  

I am better now & expect to be moved to my Battalion in a day or so.  I can’t say whether the Batt. has moved yet (6).

Best love to all.


PS  I have read for today the 35 Chap. of Isaiah (2).  I wonder if by chance you have heard or read those comforting words lately or even today.  And I wonder who keeps up theBreakfast time Readings’.

I am just going to send a short letter with my Greetings to Mrs Jones*.  M. A. is she?


South Staffordshire Badgee1/5th SOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY.


1st Jan: 1916. Battalion Training.



(1) This Letter was in the same envelope as that of New Year’s Eve.

Dead Sea Scoll 300px-Great_Isaiah_Scroll
Dead Sea Scroll: oldest copy of Book of Isaiah in existence. Discovered 1947. Of great interest to Biblical scholarship.

(2) Isaiah 35.10. 8th Cent B.C. Prophet Isaiah (740 -700 BC) considered in academic scholarship to be author of Isaiah 1-39.  Part of saying also found in Isaiah 51.11 (work of Deutero-Isaiah 6th Cent B.C. Prophet in captivity in Babylon author of Isaiah 40-55.

Circumcision. 280px-Menologion_of_Basil_047
Circumcision of Christ: Byzantine miniature in Menologian of Emperor Basil II. (c. AD 979-984).

(3) The Circumcision of Christ. Luke 2. 21. Celebrates the Naming of Jesus and Circumcision – ‘ after eight days’,  according to Jewish tradition .

(4) Harold’s wedding to Hilda Bore (delayed until 1917).  (5) Family joke? re fussy parishioner in St George’s Parish, Walsall.

(5) 1/5th South Staffords Battalion’s expected move to Eastern Front.

NEXT POST:  Sunday 10th Jan: Letter to Pte Bertie from Sydney Hibbett. 

NB. None of Pte Bertie Hibbett’s Letters Home from 2nd Jan 1916 – 6th February have survived. See current Welcome Page: December – January 1916 Letters & Monthly Summaries Page.


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