Tag Archives: ‘Blighty’.

19th SEPT.1915. ‘SUCH A COLOSSAL STATE OF CONFUSION’.

BERTIE HIBBETT: 19 in 1914.
BERTIE HIBBETT:
19 in 1914.

Pte BERTIE HIBBETT, No 9 GENERAL HOSPITAL ROUEN: LETTER to MOTHER, Marie Neal HIBBETT, 95 Foden Rd. Walsall.

Mother at Tea.
Mother at Tea.

Another Sunny Sunday Afternoon. ‘In the easy chair’. Sept 19th / 15

‘O prosper thou our handywork’ (sic). Psalm 90.

My Dear Mother,  

Beginnings.   I’ve missed out the ‘very’ & was thinking of beginning afresh, but then it would be waste so you will forgive me won’t you Mum.  Now I have got a lot to say and didn’t know which end to begin so I’ve adopted little headings. I do like to make a good start to a letter.

A Striking Coincidence.   Oh Mum you have begun your letters of late capitally Your last two did thrill me, especially the long one enclosed in the last parcel What a queer thrill went through me when I read that you were thinking about us both in the garden in the sunshine.  Now it is natural that both sides should be thinking of one another, but after me writing last Sunday afternoon just when you were thinking about us & me writing about the fact too & then to hear from you in writing It was indeed a striking coincidence.

I’ve just sharpened my pencil & popped the last of your Nestle’s chocs: in me mooth (1) – no more details now, you’ll understand I guess. I have your letter in my hand. 

Well Mum I should like to say I’m TOP HOLE – but will put it that I am happy & grateful at present.

A Victory.   I was going to begin my letter dramatically & shout Hurrah! – for I managed to coax round the cook & get three apples roasted on the day I got your last parcel.  ( Oh! I say to me sen, I’ve let the cat out of the bag. I wrote to Mr Darling* yesterday & had to start twice, the first attempt was on this sheet and I haven’t a rubber to let the cat in the bag again (2).

Parcels.  Yes Mum I’ve had both parcels all right, the one addressed to the Base came up without fail. I don’t think there is any harm in hard boiled eggs, I think they have done me good, having had no signs of further illness through eating them.  I guess they are dear in Blighty now.

Lissie’s* Toy Gun. I had a parcel from Okoo when I got yours as well.  How the patients eyed me with envy carrying the parcel post away again.  I opened your parcel 1st & found the treasure Dodger told me to look out for, Lissie’s gunI sent her a card & she will get it today & you will have got my F.P.C.   It was too bad of you to send another bit of cash.  I tried  to get some of the apples roasted, but I was late at the cookhouse.  The cook hadn’t got the ovens going then. Then I opened Harold’s parcel  after reading your letter.

Mummy’s Photo. . .  Oh! Mummy! Let me see you again.  How lovely you look, your light hair in contrast with Miss Bore’s  and the pretty frill.

Hibbett Family Whitby 1915. From Left: Basil, Hilda Bore, Mother & Father. Photo Harold.
Hibbett Family  under the Bridge at Whitby. 1915.  From Left: Basil, Hilda Bore, Mother & Father. (Photo Harold).

I see you are busy with yourfissies’ as usual – (tissies) as Basil called them (1).  Yes! I have looked closely & well I never!  its a pair of socks you are knitting & very likely the ones I’ve been wearing.  Oh! you are nearer to me now Mummy  – & you felt so near to me all day Thursday that I almost saw you by my side.  I know you are thinking of Sydney & me againbut I trust you are thinking happily.

Sister’s Address.  A very nice letter indeed & I was in raptures when I read near the conclusion & went to read that little bit to the Irish Sister & showed her your photo Harold sent.  When she heard of such a generous exclamation as ‘Bless all those who are kindto Sydney & me, and that  you would send a little present,  – guess what she saidshe said it quite naturally, not as if she was posing & aware that I should write down her wordsWhat a nice kind Mother she must be’.

She was delighted with the photos; she knew Whitby & had a sister who had been there & seen the old bridge, underneath which you were taken, & the old houses on the cliff.  She gave me her name so that if you wish to keep to your generous promise, dear Mum, you can send a little present to Miss M.E. Boyd*, No 9 General Hospital B.E.F. – that is enough to find herAll the Sisters are right for their work & take things lightheartedly, amusing the patients & asking them how they are getting on. But this Irish Sister, who I have said reminds me of Winnie Overend*, often gives us cigs & sweets, which I believe she buys out of her own pocket.

The other dark-haired Irish Sister is always prodding into me when she sees me writing. (She is going to give me some cigs; she interfered with my writing again jokingly & I showed her your photo which she greatly admired – & then promised me some cigs this afternoon).

Miss Foster.  I wrote to Miss Foster on Thursday, in time for the letter to reach her on her birthday yesterdayThis sister picked up my letter when I showed her my drawing of a patient in Hospital Dress & she just glanced at the introduction. How she larfed.  ‘No it isn’t’, I said as she expressed the idea that it was my fiancee.

I thought I would draw something for Miss Foster, not being able to give her anything more than a letter, but as I was half way through a newsboy came to the Ward door & instead of buying a paper I bought a Souvenir Card he tempted me with.  I put some of Ida’s W.H. scent on it & enclosed it in Miss Foster’s Birthday letter.

Dr Hibbert (3). Now here’s another funny coincidenceduring yesterday I came across a patient who had been to Nottingham Goose fair every year & never missed up till the War. He was a Lincolnshire lad who knew all about Uffington (4) too – the conversation started with reference to mushrooms.  Another patient I came across was in the Royal Scots Greys & came from York.   By the by, these acquaintances remind me of Ida at Leicester HospitalThe Head Sister of the two Wards said once when she was giving me medicine, ‘Call for your medicine Hibbett – let’s see – I know  a Hibbert, I have a friend related to a Dr Hibbert’.  That’s the limit – now on to something more serious

Besides the photos of you all at Whitby there was one of Harold.  Who took it?  I must congratulate the photographer for it is very artistically arranged, but Oh dear Okoo, why isn’t there a smile, eh.    

Kaiser Wilhelm II. 0b8b32410ace7beea86e0cbaa1681fb2546a2f74
Kaiser Wilhelm II. Last German Emperor & King of Prussia. 1859 -1941.

The Marriage. I say Mummy, & all of you at home, wouldn’t it sound nice to read & hear of a Lieut. Harold Victor Hibbett R.A.M.C. will be married shortly to Miss H.B. eh. what oh!  & to hear that his brother, Mr. A. Hibbett’s second son, who is fighting at the Front will act as best man.

 

Best Man.   Oh Sydney! how can we buck up & ‘singe his whiskers’ (5).  How can we bring such a colossal state of upheaval to a close  – & get Home to witness a fine bust up at Home, Sweet Home.

Boils.  Now, Mum, that leads me to tell you the answer to your anxious enquiry Yes, I will let you know all in this my (next) letter.  I daresay you were disappointed in all the letters you’ve had since the 12th thinking I should answer your queries in themI don’t think for a moment now that I could get Home through my complaint for I am quite better now;  the ‘excavation’ into my neck has been finished with & the ‘cavity’ is practically closed up now.

Home Sweet Home. I was expecting to be marked out (6) today, but the Doctor said I should be in tomorrow, MondayThe Doctor was very amiable & knows his business, but I do not think he could do anything to send me Home & I know it is of no use whatever to try & put the matter to the Colonel.  You see there are many more cases & some are worse than mine & too there have been many cases such as mine & they have been able to put them right enough for Active Service.

Blighty, My Little Grey Home in the West.  No, I don’t think Dad could do anything; it is all very well for Sydney to say what he has said to you & I’m grateful to him at the same time.  I believe the great majority of patients want to go to Home Sweet Home – Blighty as we call it.

Dining Hall Talk.  It is ‘Dining Hall talkon how chaps are favoured & work their ticket marvellously & that it is one in 1000 who want to go up the line again.

The Three Calls.  But oh Mum I have told Mr Darling* that I feel I am on the balance in Hospital here. I can hear three calls.  I can hear Sydney calling me (seems funny, although he doesn’t wish me to join him).  I can hear the call of Duty.Rise! fellow-men, our country yet remains, By that dread name we wave the sword on high & swear for Her to live, for Her to die’ (7).  

At Duty’s Call.  My New Calling. Ready Aye ready. The third call comes indirectly through Hopes of living through the campaign & taking up a new career.  His calling, that came to me through Bishop’s Stafford’s text for the confirmation candidates of 1911.  Blessed is the man whom thou choosest & receivest unto thee.  Here am I  – send me.’ (8).

Khaki Case with PhotoMy Little Khaki Case.  Another look at you dear Mum.  I have scented you with Ida’s White Heather Scent.  Mother it reminds me of the lovely scent you had on you. I have scented the case. And there’s ‘CrippenMummy – oh don’t say that of dear Dad, but it’s a joke eh Mum, ‘Hoo Hic! ain’t he strict.’ (9).

Thinking.  Another look at Mum Yes you are thinking of me & I of you.  I wonder if you are peeping at Sydney too & my photo.

Today’s Post.  I had a letter from Cousin Stanley* this morning.  My word what a change in style and manner, – of course he is 17 He seems to have grown out of his shyness by the way he writes.  And I have had a nice, delightful, little letter from Miss Jones* & Miss Humphries*. . .  There was to be a box of cigs with the letter but I have not had it yet, perhaps it will turn up tomorrow. Miss Humphries says rightly, ‘The Lord is the same yesterday, today & forever’  (10).

Keep Looking Up.  There is a happy thought to conclude withKeep looking up, it is a bright blue sky & the sun is ‘nearing’ the West where you are.  Let your two sons push forward to the East & singe his whiskers, as Harold said, & do our Dooty, as England expected in Nelson’s day, & ought to now, & does now (11).

God bless you dear Mother, my very dear Mother & the same to my Father.  I do love him whom Ida once said is ‘kindness itself’  – she knows.

Best love to all,  from Bertie.

Church of England's Soldiers Institute, London.
Church of England’s Soldiers’ Institute, London.1915.

Post Script. Another Victory. Of course you must always expect a Post Script.

I have been unable to obtain any milk or eggs, but I should think I shall be at the Base before this week is out & then I shall be able to get some eggs.  But you must understand that we have not the conveniences like at Home.  Men won’t be troubled with boiling milk & eggs for me or anyone else.  But I managed by coaxing the chap at the Soldier’s Institute Canteen to make a bowl of coffee with the coffee you sent me in the parcel & it was ripping with those digestive biscuits & I enjoyed a good little supper that night (last night).  I wondered whatever to do with that coffee.   The shirt will come in useful when I am out of Hospital but you need not send me another as I have lately been given a new outfit & Sydney could do with them.

Hoping I have satisfied your queries. I have not said all yet.  I wonder if I was thinking of you before you were thinking of me today when I went to Holy Communion in the same lovely little tent.

It is a lovely evening again & I am going to Church, are you?

Bertie.

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

Pte Bertie Hibbett’s longest letter yet in which his little headings help him to sort out his own confusion between Three Calls: Duty to his Brother, Duty to his Country and Duty to God.

(1) Hibbett Family Jargon/ Slang: moothmouth; senself; ‘cat out of the bag‘ –let out a secret by accident;  fissies (Yiddish for ‘feet) – hence knitted socks; Hoo Hic– nonsense words;  dooty-duty.   NB. ‘Okoo’ & ‘Dodger’: nicknames for Basil Hibbett, Bertie’s youngest brother. 

(2) Bertie has written  ‘Saturday Sep 18/15  ‘Dear Sir’ along the side of paper).

(3) The Hibbett Family was proud to differentiate itself from the ‘Hibbertdescendants of the Ibbot Family. Spelling: from my (6 x great) grandfather John Ibbot b. 1690; William Hibbett/or William Ibbot b. 1735; Luke Hibbitt b. 1765; William Hibbett b. circa 1790; Henry Hibbett b. 1824 (my great grandfather of Rutland & York); Arthur Hibbett b.1860 (my grandfather); Arthur Hubert Hibbett. b.1895 (my father). Sydney Martin Hibbett  b. 1931 (my brother). NB Observant folk will notice the number of years between father & eldest son is mostly 35 years.

(4) Uffington: Lincolnshire home of Hibbett cousins(5) ‘Singe his (Kaiser Wilhelm II’s) whiskers‘: get close enough to defeat him. Found in WW1 soldier’s story.

(6) ‘Marked Out’ (by R.A.M.C.): to be sent back to the Front  Line.  (7)’Rise fellow men. . . ‘Wanderings of Childe Harold’: John Harman Bedford, Lieut. R.N. ‘A Romance of Real Life’ (Lord Byron). 3 vols. 1825. London. (8)  Bertie has conflated two biblical sayings on God’s calling: Blessed is the man…’ Psalm 65.4.  ‘Here am I send me‘: First Isaiah 6.8. 

(9) Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen: American homeopath murdered his wife/ first criminal to be caught by wireless telegraph. Executed Pentonville Prison, 1910. Family nickname for Dad (Arthur Hibbett) when strict. (10) ‘The Lord is the same. . .’ Hebrews 13.8

(11) ‘England expects that everyman will do his duty. . .’ Signal sent by Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson from flagship H.M.S. Victory 21st Oct 1805, Battle of Trafalgar. Napoleonic Wars.

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South Staffordshire BadgeeLance Corp. SYDNEY HIBBETT & 1/5th SOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY.

CANADA HUTS NR DICKEBUSCH.

Rough Map of Staffords Route to the Front. 5th July 1915.
Rough Map of Staffords’ Route to the Front. 5th July 1915, showing Dickebusch & Hill 60.

18th Sept Sat: Divisional Reserve. Relieved the 6th North Staff in the trenches.

19th Sept. Sun: S.W. SLOPE HILL 60.  Very quiet day. Aeroplanes active on both sides, our machines appeared to have the upper hand.

NEXT POST:  24th SEPT. 1915.

6TH SEPT. 1915. IN KHAKI AGAIN WITH COMPASSIONATE SERJEANTS.

BERTIE HIBBETT: 19 in 1914.
BERTIE HIBBETT:
20  in 1915.

Pte BERTIE HIBBETT, No 6 GENERAL BASE ROUEN: LETTER to MOTHER & FATHER, 95 Foden Rd Walsall. 

Monday Sep. 6 / 15

My Very Dear Mother & Father,

Another repetition of having to include a Monday’s epistle with a Sunday’s.  If I had managed to get a green envelope yesterday the 1st part of this letter would have gone. 

Egg Week Chicken-poster-1-revisedIt seemed as though the letters I wrote yesterday must stay to acknowledge the ripping parcel I got this morning.   The eggs came in good condition, –  just the shells broken, but that’s all  – no mess whateverHard boiled eggs seem to be in ‘great demand’ (as Miss Bore* sais) among the SoldiersA chap had some sent him too this very morning that I got yours.Million Egg chicken-poster-2-revised 

 

I feel I ought to answer the parcel straight away, although I have not broken into all the lovely contents.  Oh Mummy I am in raptures again.  I guess you are smiling to know that your effort in sending such good ‘stuff has been another good successThere was some crossings out on Dad’s address – how dare they spoil such neat writing,  but I got it safely I shall have to write another letter shortly to say how I enjoyed the ‘assortment‘ – you have good taste for biscuits, they are fine.

I was amused at the Whitby Heather scent  – after sending the Whitby Heather soap.  I guess Dad twitched a smile when he got to know you were sending me scent, but I was sincerely delighted with such a sentiment.  Mummy & Champion’s doing I bet.  And I was doubly glad on getting a handkerchief & more so being khaki.  I intended getting one with my next pay if I get any.  I needed a hankie so.  

I was very happy indeed to see Dodger’s few words & promising me a letter I guess he was writing it for me when I was writing to him, this letter enclosed yesterday afternoon. 

I have already bought a few apples, I think fruit will do me goodPoor Sydney again.  I was rather or felt  glad now that he kept Mrs Hurst’s parcel & shared the contents with ‘Brewin*’.

I enclose Sydney’s very, very nice letter. It is isn’t it? eh what?  I want you & Ida to try and persuade Mrs Hurst* not to trouble about sending another parcel to this address.  You may think I’m mercenary, for being inclined to expect another as Sydney had the other.  As Sydney sent me her lovely letter I must write back, but if I were to tell her myself not to send me another she might take it as an insinuation – at least I do.  And you can tell Mrs Hurst it was very kind indeed of her to offer to send me The Graphic (1) . Of course now that I am out of Hospital where I got reading matter I could do with something to read, but I leave that to you.

Now when our Company Sergeant Major* went on Home Leave (sergeants 1st then privates) he saw you Mother & told me so on returning to trenchesHe said he was thinking of going up to you & telling you how I was, but he did not like the idea when he thought of the life out here.

Now, as you read in Sydney’s letter, he too has gone where Corporal A. Penning* is (2). But I think his death did not linger with pain, as I have no doubt Mrs Penning’s son did.  Gee* was his name, a relative of Queen Mary’s O.T.C. Drum & Fife Instructor. 

I am sitting on a box in a Sergeant’s tent. I was interrupted half way through this letter by the sergeant who handed me this box & told me to go & sit inside the tent as I was squatting in the grass just outside. It is sunny & fine but we have had some heavy rains lately. 

Now I must write to Sydney.  I am glad you got a letter from him.  I told him to write to you & me & got his letter with your parcel. What a happy coincidence eh!   When I read that you are kept happy in hopes of seeing Sydney & me I do pray that happiness will be fulfilled.  ‘Put your trust in the Lord & He will fulfil your heart’s desire’ (3) and the 34th Psalm, for today – The Lord delivereth the souls of His servants; and all they that put their trust in Him shall NOT BE DESTITUTE’. (4)

Best love to all,   Bertram.  

PS  Oh I am glad Sydney had opened Mrs Hurst’s parcel of chocolate (see the stains of chocolate from his finger prints) sardines (they would not make my boils any better) condensed milk (he needed that to make his tea taste nice) and yes, I am doubly glad because his rations were thin & nasty. I hope he gets a Com.  You see, I told you so didn’t I –  if not then I tell you now, that he wanted me to go to Blighty.  I know the reason & sympathise with him & it is that feeling of his that makes me want to be with him, a sort of reaction. 

We were sleeping in those beds last year at this time Mother although firing our course and in training.

*********************

ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

Two pictures. Two Serjeantsone saving a Mother from further anxiety – and another fetching a box for a young Private to sit on and inviting him into his tent to write home. Such simple acts of thoughtful kindness fill me with gratitude to all those who helped my Dad cope with the disappointment of not getting Home to ‘Blighty‘ with Boils.

(1) The Graphic: Illustrated Weekly Newspaper. London. famous for centre-page illustration of the Sinking of the Luisitania, May 1915.

Sinking of Luisitania.

(2) 6515 Company Serj. Major H. Gee. Killed : 26th Aug. 1915. (‘Shot through the lungs’, Sydney’s letter 29th Aug.).  Arthur Penning: only son of Mrs A. Penning, Pte Bertie’s landlady, 29 Gold Street, Saffron Walden.

(3) Psalm 37.4-5.  (4) Psalm 34 interestingly is an acrostic poem with each verse beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

South Staffordshire BadgeeLance Corpl SYDNEY HIBBETT 1/5th & SOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY.

 

6th Sept. Mon:  In BRIGADE RESERVE  – detail as 1st. CASUALTIES: WOUNDED: 8909 Pte V.C. Hough, 9149 Pte L.J. Bayley; No 9585 Pte C.F. Girling.  Relieved the 6th North Staffs in the trenches at 10.15 pm. Slightly wounded 8067  Pte J. Bradley, remain at duty.  

NEXT POST: 7th SEPT. 1915.  In Red White & Blue – no mistake.

18TH AUGUST 1915: ROUEN ‘IN RED WHITE & BLUE & SMOILE THE WHOILE’.

Bertie in UniformPte BERTIE HIBBETT, ROUEN:   LETTER  to IDA HIBBETT, 95, Foden Rd. Walsall.

In Red White & Blue                                                               No 6. Ward,  No 9. General Hospital.                                               Woden’s Day.  18th / 8/ 15.

My Dear Sister,

IDA HIBBETT. 27 in 1914.
IDA HIBBETT.

I think it time to write to Mum, but somewhat shirk letting her know 1st Hand  lest she should think I’m wounded  

Well anyone would think so, if they saw the way my head was bandaged up & my almost second pair of puttees.  An’ Oh! Larks –  if I appeared in Whitby, just as I am now, they would take me for a Pierrot acting the giddy-goat (1).

I have a gorgeous Royal blue suit lined with soft white material, having a turned down front, like these fashionable summer suits, a white shirt and a vivid scarlet tie (2).

I am scribbling this on the table in the Ward, where the beds are so neatly lined & made; the tidiness, cleanliness & general smartness of the place, together with the flowers & the sunny beams shining through the windows, are a great help in making one better.

ym34 [1600x1200].jpg.opt610x395o0,0s610x395
YMCA Waterloo Hut, London.
The Ward is in the form of a YMCA hut & is installed with electric lightOh! all is so spick & span, the effect is marvellous after coming from the muddy, ‘smelly’ trenches & dugouts to sleep in a nice neat bed & have milk pudding & hot milk once again.

I had a nice chat with a nice boy in the ward.  He told me all about a charge he had been in (mentioned recently in the papers) & his description of it was indeed vivid; to get genuine tales – & told naturally, hospitals out here are the only places (3).

R.A.M.C. Hut with soldiers & nurses. Hibbett Collection but anonymous.
DOES ANYONE RECOGNISE THEM?   R.A.M.C. Hut:  Soldier & Airman (with seated soldier)  and  Nurses.  Hibbett Collection but no names or location given. 

The nurses are dressed in grey & white with short scarlet capes, so nice, but one sister is so fussy & treats us all like little b’hoys, you know –  ‘Now laddie sit down – silly boy’ etc. she occasionally pops out.  She once said I gave her more trouble than all the others put together – (there’s a reputation for you).  But she said to a s’nice sister hardby – ‘He is a nice boy with always a smiling face’.  Indeed I could not help but smoile the whoile & then she said,  ‘Now sit down laddie, and let me put this fomentation on and smile’,  she aptly added.  So I did like – see.

The weather all the time I’ve been in hospital, ie Tuesday morning, has been delightfully sunny, but since we came down to the Camp there has been frequent heavy rainsthought the bell tent would come down one night when I slept under canvas, but not a drop came in (4).

Talking about smiling facesyou would also have a smiling face if you saw the poor chap (5) with facial paralysis  (where goes the ‘y’?) smile when he hears he is going to ‘Blighty’ & the Doctor  puts the Big Blue B on his head board, meaning ‘Medical Board.  Yes he is going, as you say to his little grey home in the west –  going West where I hope this letter will safely arrive. (6).

Tell me if you have received all my letters – with their corresponding dates & of course headings.

Ta Ta.  Best & kindest regards to Capt. and Mrs Overend* & fam:

Your very affec.     Bertie.

PS Tell me too if you manage to read this epistle word after word I leave it to your wisdom to forward this to Mum or not?  I think if you put No 6 General Base, until further notice, letters will get to me.  I mun move from this hospital shortly.  I hope so & indeed I should be proud to get back to the trenches again & see this campaign to the ‘finis’.

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

This Letter is a good example of how Pte Bertie Hibbett relies on his sister for advice – and plays around with Black Country dialect  – in an effort to protect his Mother from anxiety. 

(1) Pierrot: pantomime character (from late 17th Cent.) a sad clown/ a fool – usually with white face & white long-sleeved clothes.  Acting the giddy goat:  ‘behaving foolishly’.  [Giddy: ‘foolish’ ‘stupid’; ‘capricious/ changeable’ from Latin ‘capra’  goat]. 

(2) & (3) First-hand information on WW1 Hospitals/ Uniform etc see:The Project Gutenberg EBook Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front 1914 -1915.   <http://pgdp.net&gt;

Poem:Early Morning over Rouen’. May Wedderburn Cannon 1893 -1973. selected by Philip Larkin for Oxford Book of 20th Century English Verse. 1973.

(4) No 12 Gen. Hospital was mainly in tents.  (5) ‘Facial paralysis’ could refer to  another patient but I think my father is the ‘poor chap‘ (face stiff with boils and bandaging) who would ‘smoile‘  if he saw the official ‘Big Blue B on his head board & got aBlighty‘.

MEANWHILE  Lance Corporal SYDNEY HIBBETT was still at the Front.

South Staffordshire BadgeeSOUTH  STAFFORDS  WAR  DIARY.

S.W, SLOPE OF HILL  60.

15th Aug. Sun:  Old trench between 37 and German trench opposite reconnoitred by a patrol and found to be clear of enemy. Four rounds fired by our trench mortar, enemy replied with 5 trench mortar shells without doing damage. Enemy shrapneled 365 and the Strong point in the wood.   Two enemy mortars located. CASUALTY WOUNDED: 7863 Pte A. Leaming.

16th Aug, Mon:  Enemy opened rapid fire for about 10 minutes on 35 trench at 12.45 am. At about 5.pm enemy opened rapid fire on our aeroplane.  Estimate from volume of fire that their numbers are about equal to our own in the trenches. 17th Aug. Tue: Grenaded and bombed enemy trench. Germans replied with trench mortars into (Railway) Cutting, compelling our working party to cease work.  Enemy shrapnelled 35 and 35 support trench between 7 and 7.30 am. Our guns replied.  Artillery of both sides damaged 35 trench parapet.   CASUALTIES WOUNDED: 9985 Pte J. T. Rowley, 9293 Pte J. Hickinbottom.  Relieved by 6th North Staffs about 11. pm.  

18th Aug. Wed.  OUDERDOM ‘F’ HUTMENTS DIVISIONAL RESERVE. 

NEXT POST: 20th AUGUST 1915.  Red White & Blue Blood Out of Order.