OMITTED BY MISTAKE – APOLOGIES TO FOLLOWERS.
NEUVILLE ST VAAST.
26th Mar. Sun: NEUVILLE ST VAAST. Battalion in Brigade Reserve. Carrying and digging fatigues. CASUALTY: 7801 Corpl. G.H. Maybury severely wounded.
27th Mar. Mon: In Brigade reserve. Carrying and digging fatigues. NEUVILLE shelled at 6.15 pm and again at 8.45 pm.
Monday Mar. 27/ 16
Just bide a wee and dinna fret. (1)
My Very Dear Mother & All of you,
Received your very nice parcel last night, after coming off fatigue. Circumstances are very hard for writing letters and oh HOW I did wish I could write a long letter just to your liking, but there has been no outward post lately.
I wrote yesterday & was forwarding the Com(mission) form in the green envelope, but will wait till I have answered your very long & nice letters of 14th & 19th Mar.
I also had Harold’s parcel last night. I am absolutely at my wits end to know how to answer all the correspondence received of late. Miss Foster’s* letters of Friday are waiting to be given in.
Must stop now as the orderly will be wanting the letters to be given in.
God bless you all.
Ta ta Bertie.
PS You will no doubt be seeing some of the 1/5th in Walsall on Leave. Don’t be alarmed, the Leave might stop any time, but grateful to say, if it keeps on at the rate it is doing now, I shall probably spend Easter with you. D.V. Miss Foster* will tell you also as I told her in my letter.
Also I expect to see Sydney today & will ‘see how he looks’ and tell you as you wished.
Outward Post from Neuville St Vaast Trenches was stopped by ‘circumstances’ (i.e. the heavy shelling of the enemy, constant need for fatigues to repair trenches & bring in supplies) – but the Army seems to have made sure the Inward Post arrived with Harold Hibbett’s promised parcel and Letters from Home.
(1) ‘Bide a wee & dinna fret’. ‘Wait patiently a little while & do not be anxious’ (about Pte Bertie’s Home Leave & Sydney’s return to the Front). CNDC California Digital Newspaper Collection. California Farmer & Journal of Useful Sciences Vol 48. No 1. 2nd May 1878. Anon. 19th Cent. Scottish emigrant? Until I read this letter I thought this familiar saying came from my Mother’s Scottish side.
Is the road very dreary ? Patience yet. Rest will be sweeter if thou art a-weary, And after night cometh the morning cheery, Then bide a wee and dinna fret.
The clouds have silver lining, Don’t forget; And though He’s hidden, still the sun is shining; courage instead of tears and vain repining, Just bide a wee, and dinna fret.
With toil and cares unending art beset’! Bethink thee how the storms from heaven descending Snap the stiff oak, but spare the willow bending. And bide a wee, and dinna fret.
Grief’s sharper sting doth borrow From regret; But yesterday is gone, and shall its sorrow Unfit us for the present, and the morrow? Nay; bide a wee, and dinna fret.
An over-anxious brooding both beget A host of fears and fantasies deluding; Then, brother, lest these torments be intruding, Just bide a wee, and dinna fret. — Leisure Hours.
NEXT POST: 28th MAR. 1916.