Tag Archives: Convalescent Camp Rouen. 1915.

30th SEPT. 1915: CONVALESCENT CAMP ROUEN: ‘ON BOARDS UNDER CANVAS & BEARING CHEERFULLY’.

Bertie in UniformPte 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,  

Mother at Tea.
MOTHER AT TEA.

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.

Reginald McKenna.
Reginald McKenna.

Trusting you are all keeping well & ‘bearing cheerfully’ as McKenna sais of the Budget (3).

Your very affec:   Bertie.

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(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 McKenna1863-1943. 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).

Dreadnought Battleship.
Dreadnought Battleship.

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&gt;

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South Staffordshire BadgeeSOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY

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.

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28TH SEPT.1915: CONVALESCENT CAMP ROUEN. ‘ARF A MO KAISER!’

Bertie in UniformPte BERTIE HIBBETT, No 6  GENERAL BASE CONVALESCENT CAMP:  YMCA POSTCARD to ARTHUR HIBBETT Esq. 95 Foden Rd. Walsall.  Censor No 920.

YMCA Postcard 28th Sept. 1915.
YMCA Postcard 28th Sept.  not franked until 1st Oct. 1915.

 

No 6  General  Base.  Tues: Sep 28/ 15.

Was transferred from the Convalescent Camp on Monday evening (1) & am now back at my Base; where I am put on light duty for three days & then I expect I shall be sent to my unit for Active Service & hope I shall soon be ‘up & at it againsingeing the K____’s whiskers. (2).

Half-a-Mo-Kaiser! Copy of Bairnsfather's cartoon by A.H. Hibbett. 1916.
‘ARF A MO KAISER!’ BERT THOMAS’ CARTOON.  Copy  by A.H. Hibbett. 1914/ 1915.

Good news in the papers isn’t it? (3).   I am quite well.

Best love to all,  Bertie.  

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

(1)  Pte Bertie Hibbett had expected to move to Convalescent Camp on Sat. 25th Sept. but actually arrived there on Mon. 27th Sept.  He expected to be in the trenches again in a few days. (Typically he addresses such important news to his father)

(2) ‘ARF  A  MO  KAISER!’ by  Herbert Samuel (Bert) Thomas, MBE. 1883-1966 (Punch political cartoonist/ WW1 & WW2 propaganda posters). Cartoon. First published 11th Nov. 1914 in the Weekly Dispatch, raised £250,000 for its Tobacco for Troops Fund. ‘Every 6d will gladden the heart of a hero’.  My father made several copies between 1914 -1915. <https://www.cartoons.ac.uk&gt;

The Weekly Dispatch (British Newspaper estab. 1801) became ‘Sunday Dispatch’ in 1928 until merged with Sunday Express in 1961.

(3Newspapers were quick to report initial success of the Battle of Loos (pronounced ‘Loss’), Hohenzollern Redoubt, on 25th Sept. 1915, part of the major attempt to break the trench stalemate along the Western Front. 

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South Staffordshire BadgeeSOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY.

RAILWAY DUG-OUTS, ZILLEBEKE.

26th & 27th Sept.  In Brigade Reserve.

CASUALTY:  WOUNDED 27th inst.  8715 Cpl. R.J. Drew.  28th & 29th Sept: Dug-outs shelled from 11 am to 1 p.m. with 8 in. armour-piercing shells and H.E. shrapnel.  

NEXT POST: 30th SEPT. 1915.