Pte BERTIE HIBBETT. No 6 GENERAL BASE CONVALESCENT CAMP. YMCA LETTER HEADING – On Active Service with THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE to Marie Neal Hibbett, 95 Foden Rd. Walsall. Written in ink.
No 6 General Base. Thurs: Sep 30th/ 15.
My Dear Mother,
Yes, I slept well on Sunday night. I was in the Convalescent Camp & I had a bed in a hut or ward, but of course they were without white quilts & fancy blankets & no pillows, but I felt as comfortable, – & now I am on boards under canvas again – & I suppose I shall be on the ground as next stage.
I received your parcel this morning. I walked across to the Hospital for it. I went to a service on Sunday evening in the C.C. (1) – but of course it was not quite so nice as the pretty Church Tent in Hospital. The eggs have come safely, but this time the box seems to have had the worst of the journey, the paper almost off & the lid crooked.
Dearest Mummy I don’t think I shall need so many parcels, you have sent them on top of one another lately, but now that I am out of Hospital & can draw my pay & able to go to the Canteens, I might be able to get some freshly boiled eggs in a morning. I will tell you if I do.
Last night I went to an amateur play of Henry Vth in YMCA – was that Basil’s play (2) ? The enclosure of that envelope you sent was from Mr Bates*; he is in the Inns of Court OTC & is going in for a Commission.
I am keeping well & happy & I’m trying to take things as a matter of course. Hoping Sydney will have a safe & happy journey (home). I am sending a letter to Harold.
Trusting you are all keeping well & ‘bearing cheerfully’ as McKenna sais of the Budget (3).
Your very affec: Bertie.
(1) Convalescent Camp. (2) QMS School Play or Basil’s Oxford Junior Examination text? Events before & after Battle of Agincourt , when Henry Vth, now a more mature young man, leads a successful War in France. (I wonder who actually put on this play in Rouen?)
(3) Reginald McKenna, 1863-1943. Chancellor of Exchequer. Third War Budget 25th Sept 1915. Introduced ‘Mckenna Duties’ : import duties, 50% excess-profit tax & 40% personal income tax to sustain the War effort (a temporary measure which lasted 41 years until 1956).
As First Lord of Admiralty, 1901, McKenna pressed for the building of battleships over social reform. First of 18 ‘dreadnoughts’ begun in 1911 gave British advantage against Germany at beginning of WW1. Chairman of Midland Bank 1919-1943. Wikipedia.
(4) Crump: German 5.9″ shell – or sound of it bursting (onomatopoeic). <http://www.wakefieldfhs.org.uk/warslang>
RAILWAY DUG-OUTS ZILLEBEKE
30th Sept. Thur: Many dug-outs demolished & much damage to rifles and equipment but no casualties. Between 3.0 pm and 5.30 pm enemy fired 16 ‘crumps’ (4) on to dug-outs and woods behind trenches 34 & 35. Enemy commenced heavy bombardment of 33 & 34 supports and dug-outs in wood, which lasted until 9.30 pm. ‘B’ Company went up to support trenches behind 33 & 34, one platoon manning 33 fire trench.
CASUALTIES: KILLED: 7931 Coy S Major Harris A.T.. WOUNDED: 8160 Dr. F Charless; 8169 Pte S.J. Holmes; 8147 Corpl. W.J. Mallaband ; 7577 Corpl. W. Pearce. WOUNDED (shock) 8343 Pte V. Hackett; 9041 Pte S. Dance; 4817 Sgt W. Hawkins. SLIGHTLY WOUNDED (remain at duty) 8309 Pte R.J. Williams.
SEPTEMBER TOTAL: KILLED 3; WOUNDED 25; SLIGHTLY WOUNDED (remain at duty) 15; DIED OF WOUNDS 2.
D.O.W. 30/8/15: 7822 Pte L. Morris; 9415 Pte W. Pearson (Deaths advised during Sept.)
Signed: Richmond RAYMER Lt Col. Commdg 1/5th South Staffordshire Regiment.
NEXT POST: 2ND OCT. 1915.