4th July, Sun. Furnished working parties to the 1st and 2nd Coys. N. Midlands and 57th Coy R.E. CASUALTIES: 4 men wounded : No 8697 Pte A. Anson, 8396 Pte G. Davies, 8877 Pte C. Evans, and 8749 Pte J. Cater.
Pte BERTIE HIBBETT: LETTER to MOTHER, Marie Neal Hibbett, 95, Foden Rd Walsall.
Sunday July 4/ 15.
My Very Dear Mother,
Sydney & I have received this dinner time a parcel from Auntie (1). There are some very delicious things in it, so I must write & acknowledge it as a soon as possible. By the by, I do not very often write to York, but I really must write to dear Mother on Sunday. Sunday always makes me think more of you & Dad.
Hush! – there’s signs of us coming Home. Our Captain (2) has asked the Serj. Major for privates recommended for Home Leave. But to prevent any anxiety or disappointment we cannot make certain of coming home. But still you, dear Mother would, I thought, like a little more light on the matter.
Now Mother I know you love our children of St Paul’s Sunday School & give them a smile from me now & then, so I thought you would be interested in this dear letter from a jolly little chap in my old class.
He sent me a little parcel in which was – I wondered whatever it would be – there were 2 boxes of England’s Glory matches (3), a box of cigarettes & some hum bugs. But what a generous thought of the little boy eh?
We are still in bivouacs & go to the trenches in a day or so. Auntie sent us both a tablet of floating soap (4) again, some cake & parkin. The best in the parcel was a box of large chocolates including Cream Walnuts & marshmallows. She sent four – what do you think? ba-na-nas, all – you know hm – hm. But very luckily the other contents were not spoiled.
Forgive me referring to you sending more luxuries for my b – day, but I should like what Mother likes instead of pineapple chunks. You like apricots – well send us a tin of apricots. See PS.
PS Top of Letter. Hoping you are spending a very happy Sunday all together having tea in the sunshine.
Best love to Dad – & all of you. Bertie.
(1) Auntie (Pattie?) Hibbett of York. (2) Captain Charles Lister*. (3) England’s Glory matches. Made in Gloucester by S. J. Moreland & Sons (subsidiary Bryant & May, 1913). Image is of H.M.S. Devastation; turret ship built to Admiralty design,1869; first ocean-going ship without sails, described as ‘one of the most powerful warships in the world’.
(4) Floating Soap: James Norris Gamble (son of founder Proctor & Gamble establ. 1878). Origin: Proud Paper: vintage art & ads (Ebay). The World’s Biggest Advertiser all began with One Product. ‘White Soap’ produced by accident when mixing machine was left on & excess of air mixed in – buyer asked for ‘that floating soap again’.1879. Harley T. Proctor (son of founder Proctor & Gamble) changed name to ‘Ivory Soap‘ 1882; inspired by Psalm 45.8 : All thy garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. cf ‘Ivory Soap’: Wikipedia and <www.todayifoundout.com>
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