Tag Archives: Sabine Baring Gould.

20TH FEB. 1916: PLATOON FOOTBALL – ‘NO RULES – NO FOULS – NO INSIDE RIGHT – EVERYTHING INSIDE OUT!’

South Staffordshire Badgee1/5TH SOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY.

Pont Remy France.
Pont Remy, France. <map-france.com>

PONT REMY. (1)

 

 

          14th Feb. Mon. 5.0 pm  Detrained and marched to BELLANCOURT (2). 15th-20th Feb. In  Billets. Battalion Training. 

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Bertie in UniformPte BERTIE HIBBETT  ‘No. 2 Platoon ‘A’ Company’: LETTER to Arthur & Marie Neal HIBBETT, 95 Foden Rd. Walsall.                                        

Septuagesima Sunday (3).  February 20/ 16

Mon Chere Mere et Pere,

170px-Sullivan-1870
Arthur Seymour Sullivan. English Composer.

The weather today has been fine & sunny, but somewhat cold with a sharp wind.  I enjoyed the Parade Service in the field, on the outskirts of a park of fir treesThe old familiar formation of the Battalions in a square came with a freshness as we lined up on the field & the officers took part.  ‘Onward Christian soldiers (4) was the opening hymn.  After the service I went to Holy Communion in a barn in the village.  The Brig. Major & the other officers I knew attended. 

In the afternoon every man had to play football or have physical exercise.  Of course the majority voted for football.

So, Dodger! we had a game for those who did not know the rules of football.

We played platoon against platoonno rules – no fouls except the hands – no inside right – no forwards – no centre half – no inside left, in fact everything was inside out & the game was a game indeed.

I have been able to read the Walsall Observer account of the air raid (5) but it did not give the list of the injured.  I trust you are all safe. How sad for that RAMC to return home & find his wife, daughter & son had all lost their lives. I, like Mother, leave your safe keeping in those Higher Hands.  I think you have more to put up with than we men out here.

I wrote to you on Friday when I received your letter of February 6th.  To ensure the correspondence  I repeat that I am now back with the Batt. at No 2 Platoon A Coy .  We were paid the other night & I met A.O. Jones* & Cyril Hinde* who told me lots of news from Home, & Clifford Hackett* had a chat with me & said he met Bob Charlton* in Egypt (6).

You said Sydney walked into dinner one weekend.  How long did he spend at Home?  The letter was very ‘newsy’.  Many thanks my Dear Mummy for being so busy knitting socks.  – Yes every stitch will be a blessing.  I shall think of you as I tramp along in your socks & hope they will return to the very rooms you knitted them in soon, in God’s good time. 

Leave , I heard from Hackett, has been postponed till the end of March.  I hope it is only a rumour.

I am reading your letter & you are concluding as I am now. 

God be with you all & bless you all.

Yours affectionately,   Bertie.

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

(1Pont Remy,  Picardie: ancient crossing of the Somme, 7 miles SE of Abbeville.  (2) Bellancourt5 miles march approx from Pont Remy. Pte Bertie Hibbett was M.P over Bellancourt farm billets waiting for 1/5th Staffords’ return from Egypt.

Pont Remy France.
Pont Remy France.

(3) Septuagesima Sunday. Ninth Sunday before Easter. (Lit. within ‘seventieth’ day before Easter. Book of Common Prayer. 1662.            

(4) Hymn: Sabine Baring Gould, 1834 -1924. (1865 processional hymn for children based on 2 Timothy 2.3endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Tune: ‘St Gertude’ 1871Arthur Sullivan,1842 -1900.

(5) Zeppelin Raid on WalsallJan 31st – Feb.1st 1916.

(6) Old QMS pals, Walsall.

NEXT POST: 27th Feb. 1916.

See also NEW PAGE: ‘My Memories’. A.H.H.

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3rd MAY 1915: ‘BROTHER CLASPS THE HAND OF BROTHER’.

South Staffordshire BadgeeSOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY

NEUVE EGLISE

1st – 3rd May 1915:  In Hutments ‘Bulford Camp.

BERTIE HIBBETT: 19 in 1914.
BERTIE HIBBETT: 

Pte BERTIE HIBBETT: LETTER to his Sister IDA HIBBETT, 95, Foden Rd. Walsall. 

Camp.             May 3 / 15

IDA HIBBETT. 27 in 1914.
IDA HIBBETT.
28  in 1915..

My Dear Sister Ida,

The Battalion Band has just struck up a lively air.  Sid & I and F. Bailey* etc are lying in the grass in a hollow listening to it (1). I am of course trying to write to you as well.

Another sunny afternoon for Church ServiceSid & I have been on parade & have attended a most beautiful service of Holy Communion, administered on the field. 

I found out, when I sent my May Day letter to Mother, that I had missed some touchy bits I had put in my draft  (I made a draft being a special letter).  Sentry duty being monotonous at times one’s thoughts are likely to wander.  Now don’t come to the conclusion it’s through laziness yo ho!  I’m aye ready for any of the wiles of the enemy – but you can just understand although not in the same circumstance.

Well my thoughts werewhere do you think – why of Home Sweet Home (2).

Home Sweet Home. Sheet Music version published in 1914.
Home Sweet Home. Sheet Music version published in 1914.

I repeat those words again (3), ‘Guide there my affections, my thoughts‘ – & now my pen or rather pencil.  Well I thought of Mother as usual & I also missed the music of Home & so I began to whistle songs & hymns.  I whistled & half sang that lovely song The Brook’(4). I pictured Mother at the piano accompanied by Dad playing.  Other songs were ‘Jerusalem’(5), which reminded me of Nottingham (6).

I promised to tell you about the article I read in the Daily Mail I managed to get hold of.  Well I think I could have begun the article a little better than Miss Wise by letting Poor Georgia have been an adopted child; it would have been more fitting for the object of the article’ a filler- in‘.  At any rate Poor Georgia was plainly dressed & had ugly features somewhat.  At Sun. School the Teachers had quite a dispute & none would have her in their classes, but it so happened that the pianist took pity on her & said that . . . .  (Pages missing here sadly!)   

PS  I enclose two letters which I know you & Mother & all at Home will be pleased to read  & so you will know that we are remembered & we are often if not continually in the thoughts of all in dear old England

We have discarded pants, but the day we took them off – & since – the weather has been colderToday there has been a cool breeze, but how lovely it was to have Church Service in the sunshine.

‘Brother clasps the hand of brother’ goes that lovely hymn. (7)

We should be delighted with either a tin of pineapple chunks or Mother’s favourite apricot & cream Yo ho!  

Best wishes,   Bert.  

PS You may let Mother read this tooLet me know if & when you got my letter to Basil & Mother.  PS  Vernon has just given me another letter of his to read.

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

(1)  My father always loved to hear a Band; he had a fine singing voice and used it well for intoning the Anglican services after he was ordained. (2) Home Sweet Home: music Sir Henry Bishop; lyrics John Howard Payne, 1823. (3Kipling: See Letter 1st May 1915.  

(4) The Brook: Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809 -1892. Poet Laureate.  (Born Somersby, Lincolnshire, where his father was Rector.  I like to think that I was taught in the same rooms as he was at King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth, and that his poem‘Flower in the crannied wall. . . ‘ was inspired by the School House Lane wall I passed everyday. NB  Unable to locate the music score unless it is the hand-written one in Indian ink, titled ‘Spring’ – found in the same envelope.  (5) Jerusalem:  William Blake. 1757 -1827. Romantic Poet & Painter 

(6) Bertie Hibbett was born in Nottingham, (1895) where his father Arthur Hibbett was Organist & Choir Master at St. Mary’s High Pavement. The family moved to Walsall around 1903. 

(7) Hymn: Through the Night of Doubt & Sorrow. Bernhardt S. Ingermann 1826. (Translated from Danish by Sabine Baring Gould, 1834 – 1924).Sabine Baring-Gould. The line quoted above continues:Stepping fearless through the night‘.)