Fred Hammond letter 24 March 1917

24.3.17

Dear Pa & Ma

Just a line to let you know I am gogging along OK. I received your & Gladys letters safely.  Hope Gladys does well in her exam.  Time flies so fast that I suppose she got past the fresher stage by now.  Have you found out any secret chemical to finish the Bosche off?  I suppose you have read all about the great push lately don’t expect we shall give them much rest once the weather becomes settled.  This last week has been a mixture of winter & summer snow & sunshine alternately.  Yes I was rather surprised at my brothers.  I wonder whether there’s some fever in the family and whether I am at all likely to catch it.  Altho I think I am safer out here after all.  So Geo is with his old lot again do you mean at home?  Never had a word from him for some time.  Glad to hear Par has selected such a suitable sight I can see you are offering me every inducement.  Yes I think I shall take up a little agriculture after the war and bet there’s not much profit when I’ve finished.  Well I am quite well and hope you are all the same.  Expecting to be home by August or at least La Guerre finis.  Well so long for present.

Fred

 

 

Green envelope FPO D 3 24 Mr 17 to E. Hammond, 9 Countess St. Stockport.

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A.A. Laporte Payne letter 22 March 1917.

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 22 March 1917.

 

B.E.F.

France.

Wednesday March 22nd 1917

 

My own darling,

 

It was very sweet of you not to be angry with me for that silly letter I wrote you. I awaited your answer very anxiously.  Thank you so much for your letters and the lovely box of chocolates which arrived safely.  You are a darling to be so thoughtful.  You are quire right you are spoiling me dreadfully.  Do you know what the Doctor said the other day when a parcel from you arrived – ‘Someone seems to love you’ – and that from a man who has just been married!

 

I am very glad to hear that Mrs. Cross is better. You say nothing about yourself so I hope you are alright, and enjoying yourself.  The weather is not at all spring like yet.  It snowed hard yesterday and froze last night.  What do you think of the news?  We are not on the move but the Boche are retreating not far away.  We are very busy and anticipating a move forward in a few days.  We have had another move.  We never seem to be in one place more than a few days.  We are getting quite accustomed to it now.

 

There has been great excitement lately; two houses on either side of us have been burnt down. It is our turn next.

 

The Colonel is in a very bad temper because he is not in the advance, but I expect we shall have our fill of such things soon.

 

You say you wish you could write sense. You do, or if it is not sense it is ‘divine nonsense’ and I can quite understand your meaning.

 

Leave seems to be as far off as ever. It is making me very bad tempered I am afraid.  It is over 5 months since I saw you last and it seems ages and ages ago.

 

Have you been reading any interesting books lately? I read one of O Henry’s the other day but have not finished it yet.  The ‘Times’ is about all I read now.

 

The post has not come yet. I wonder whether I shall hear from you this afternoon.  I hope so as I am feeling ‘humpy’ and I want to hear from you again.  I am very greedy I know.

 

I read somewhere in Locke – ‘There are no persons harder to read and easier to misunderstand than those of whom we are fondest.’ Do you think that is true?  Perhaps that is why I made such a silly mistake the other day.

 

You would like my horse. I must have a photo taken especially for you.  I have also managed to get an excellent groom.  He was a ‘whip’ before the war.

 

No! I am not jealous. It would be insulting to be jealous.  So please go on telling me all your news.  It is rather greediness in wanting to keep you all to myself.  You must try and cure me of all these bad faults.

 

So you are going away in May. I must get home before then to see you.  Don’t make your hands rough and hard or get burnt.  I hope you will like your work.  Take care of Maude and make her behave well.  Do you have to live in tents and sleep in blankets and wash up the crockery?  I can imagine it!  I hope you will have fine weather.  You must be careful of your rheumatism.  Please pardon my teasing.  I only wish I were at home to tease in person.  You used to be very annoyed with me, didn’t you?  Very justly too.  I was very rude in those days – but my being so in that way shewed that I did not want to offend you.  You will know how to treat me in the future.

I must close now as there are heaps of things for me to do.

 

With all my love, darling, and kisses.

 

Ever yours

Archie.

Alf Smith letter 21 March 1917

No 27521

Pte. A.A. Smith

1st Essex Regt.

15th I.B.D.

A.P.O. (S24)

B.E.F. France

 

March 21st 17

 

Dear Father

 

Just a few lines to let you know I am quite well.

There is not very much news to tell you but thought you would just like to have a few lines from me.

It is not a bad idea to put your address on the back of the envelope when you write as it will be returned without being opened if it does not reach me.

What do you think of the news lately?  It looks very good I think we shall soon have to be singing when Tommy comes marching home &c don’t you.

I shall be very glad to hear from you when you have time to write a few lines.

Hoping you are all in the best of health.

With much love

From your

devoted

Son

 

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 20 March 1917

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 20 March 1917

 

Telephone No VICTORIA 6154

 

Association for Befriending Boys

President – The Rt Hon the Rt. Rev The Lord Bishop of London

Rev. J. Scott Lidgett, D.D. Chairman

Sir William Chance, Bt., Hon Treasurer

Henry F. New, Secretary.

 

Denison House (Rooms 38 and 39)

296 Vauxhall Bridge Road S.W. I

London March 20th 1917

Please Quote St. P 40

 

Rev & Dear Sir,

 

May I venture to commend to your kind notice, a boy named Robert Wynne, who will be sixteen this year. He left the School in 1916 with a very good character, and is now working with Mr. F. Lane, 10 ,High Street, N. Finchley.  It would be a great advantage to the boy if he could get to know you.

 

I am,

Rev. & Dear Sir,

Yours very faithfully,

H.F. New

Secretary M.M.

 

The Rev. W La Porte Payne,

Christchurch Vicarage,

  1. Finchley.

 

Alf Smith letter 16 March 1917

No 27521

Pte. A.A. Smith

1st Essex Regt.

15th I.B.D.

A.P.O. (S24)

B.E.F. France

 

March 16th 17

 

Dear Father

 

You may guess I was very pleased to receive your letter yesterday also The Pictorial to-day thank you very much.  We can get papers here but you have to pay 1 ½ d or 2 ½ d for them & there is not much news as a rule; but they serve a double purpose as they are very useful for wrapping up food &c.

I see they have got you all numbered now.  I heard about the new postal regulations.

Have you heard from Albert Taylor lately you might send me his address if you know it when you write.

I hope your colds are better now; this is very trying weather have had a touch of the tooth-ache it is the cold winds otherwise I am getting along fine quite comfortable here now.

I had a letter from Ciss to-day she said she has been expecting to hear or see you.

We have to make an early start; up 5.30 breakfast 6 A.M. we are out for the rest of the day, have an hour for lunch on the field & dinner when we get back at 4 P.M. but the parades are very easy it would be a treat if the weather was warmer.

Will you please thank Lilian for her welcome letter I will write to her very soon.

Well I think I must finish now.

Remember me to all friends that I know.

With much love from

Your devoted

Son

 

 

In envelope marked On Active Service addressed to T. Smith Esq., 24, Palmerstone Rd., Bowes Park N 22 London N England.  Postmarked Army Post Office S.24.  Army Post Office S.24.  18 MR 17.  Censor 229 D.*. Page.

 

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 14 March 1917.

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 14 March 1917.

 

B.E.F.

France.

Wednesday March 14th 1917

 

Muriel Darling,

 

So very many thanks for your letter and the box of lovely cigarettes. I am of the opinion that they are better than De Reske – perhaps because you chose them.  At any rate the name of them at once attracted me; but they are much too good for me out here on active service.  Such cigarettes ought to be smoked with you in England.

 

Please, miss, you must not sit up late writing to me or you will damage your health which is much more what I want than that you should grow pale and ill burning the midnight oil because, forsooth, a wretched creature in France waits for a letter – even though he longs for them.

 

I am so sorry to hear that Mrs. Cross has such a bad throat and that Mr. Cross has a bad back. They are both better now I hope.

 

Please excuse this paper. I cannot find any other and I simply can’t tear one out of the book properly this afternoon – and paper is so precious now isn’t it?  I must not waste any more government property in throwing form papers away.

 

It is a glorious day to day. I wish I were at home and able to go out for a walk with you.  At present the Boche is shelling – and a shell has just dropped close to the office and lots of bits from aeroplane shells are falling about, so it is not very pleasant going out for a walk here.

 

I don’t see any prospect of leave yet alas! I shall certainly do something desparate soon.  What are the ways in which you say you are not longing for me to come?  I want to know – perhaps they will reconcile me to the waiting which is getting worse and worse.  Nobody is going away from here at present, and I don’t know when they will.  In a short time I suppose leave will be stopped for everyone.

 

Reg is out here now. I heard from him the other day.  I wonder how he will like it.  I have not heard where he is going to yet.

 

Now please burn my last letter and forget all about it. I was very miserable when I wrote it and I imagined all sorts of things.  I was very silly and it was all my imagination, but you see I want you so much to trust me absolutely.  I am anxiously awaiting your reply to my letter.  I wonder what it will be.  I hope it will be a good talking to and then I shall feel better, I am sure.

 

How are you keeping dear? Alright I hope – with nothing to worry you.

 

I have been away for two days on an expedition and have just returned. I went into Belgium.  The country is horrid – so flat and the mud is awful.  It does not look as if it ever would dry again.

 

There is no news to tell you. Things go on much as usual.  I suppose they are the same with you.

 

With all my love and many kisses.

Ever yours

Archie.

Alf Smith letter 13 March 1917

No 27521

Pte. A.A. Smith

1st Essex Regt.

15th I.B.D.

A.P.O. (S24)

B.E.F. France

 

March 13th 17

 

Dear Father

 

Just a few lines to let you know I am quite well.

I had a letter from Albert to-day.  You may guess I was pleased to receive it.  It is the first I have had from home since I have been here.  Did you receive all my letters I wrote I sent two & a P.C.  It seems a long time when one is waiting but I am not the only one there are several men have not received any yet.  I was just wondering if they had gone astray.

Glad to say the weather is much better now. It has been vary cold & windy.

I am very comfortable here now I have got used to it again am having a very good time here.

Well I think I must conclude now.

Hoping you are all in the best of health.

Au revoir

With much love

From your

devoted

Son

 

With Green Envelope Army Post Office S.24 A 14 MR 17. Addressed to T. Smith, 24 Palmerstone Rd., Bowes Park, London N England.  Signed A.A. Smith