A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 26 July 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 26 July 1917



July 26th 1917


My dearest,


You will be leaving ‘The Farm’, I suppose, in a day or two so this will be my last letter to you there. How quickly the time does go!  I hope you will have a good holiday with Mr & Mrs Cross.  You deserve a long rest now and will probably be glad to be rid of farm life for a bit.


I am still at the Wagon Lines but I can’t keep away from the guns and I go up generally every day, mostly at night. Last night I did not get back until 2, a.m. as we had a lot of ammunition to cart.  I had dinner at Headquarters.  The Doctor has gone home to England ill, lucky fellow!  These doctors know how to do it don’t they?


I am probably going up to the gun line again for a bit and the Major is coming down here, so I shall have plenty to do.


The weather has not been so good the last two days and fairly windy. I hate the wind when living in tents; everything blows about so horribly.


A box of Con Amore Cigarettes arrived yesterday. You are the guilty one I expect or Mrs Cross at your instigation – so I am sending my very best thanks to you, dearest.  They are excellent, and I am smoking one now and enjoying it thoroughly so far as the wind will allow me.


My horses are looking very well. They were inspected by the D.D.V.S. the other day (in other words the Deputy Director of Veterinary Services) and he was very pleased with them.  The harness is not yet what I want it to be but then I suppose I am very particular.  I am much too fond of looking inside buckles for the men.


How are you keeping? Quite alright I hope, and all your people.  Give my love to Maude and thank her for her letter (I think I did this before though)

I must get away now as there is some more ammunition coming in.

With all my love & kisses

Ever your



FW Springett letter 25 July 1917

6649 Pte F.W. Springett

D Company 1st Platoon

22nd Training Reserve

New Hall Farm Camp

Upper Dovercourt




My Dear Brother Sid,

I received your kind letter and 10/- note this morning thanks very much.

We are out on the range now.  Firing our last course, and its about five miles from our other camp.  Of course we are camping up here for the week and I shall soon be home now.

It is very lovely right out in the country heavy ink staining enough to keep away from the German Aeroplanes.

It was a nice little raid here on Sunday.  I was just going to have my breakfast when the guns started banging, and I saw about ten of them.  They did fire at them for about 15 minutes, the noise was awful, some of the shrapnel from the guns fell in our camp but no bombs.

It was very funny, because we moved up here on Saturday afternoon, and they dropped some bombs right on the other camp but did not kill anyone.

I must not say too much about it as our letters are liable to be opened. Heavy ink staining quite understand I am like you about the paper.  I have just borrowed a piece, as there is no YMCA up here.

Still we can always get plenty when there’s one about.  I do.  I had another letter from Ted the other day.  I was surprised.  Glad you are still getting on alright and take my tip keep alright, and where you are.

Well Dear Sid, I must now close as it is post time, there is only one post here a day. Still write to the same address they will find me alright then.

It is 19 weeks since I joined up, don’t the time fly.

Well, Dear Sid, I thank you very much for what you do for me, perhaps I shall be able to repay you some day.

At least I hope so. Ha Ha.

I will now close.

With Best Love

From Your

Affec Brother

Frank W.

You will excuse writing won’t you? Write soon.

Hope you are still A1 I am O.K.


With cover to MR. S.K. Springett, 29, Bath Road, Dartford, Kent

Postmarked HARWICH 5 PM 25 JY 17.

Envelope and cover heavily ink stained.


A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 24 July 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 24 July 1917



July 24th 1917




You have, I hope, by this time received one or two letters from me. I expect you got very angry with me for being so long.  Thank you so much for yours of the 20th and the photos which have just arrived.


Were you successful in getting your wages paid? I am indeed very sorry that you have got so low that you are contemplating a pawnshop.  I hope the financial situation is better now.


So you would like to be on the same sort of holiday as the Revd & Mrs.  Don’t you think I should too, dearest?  It is difficult to imagine having such a good time under these circumstances.  I wonder whether you would find the anticipation better than the realisation, or vice versa.  I know which I think the best and it is not the first in this case.  Such things would probably make me silly though and then think how awful it would be to have a lunatic companion.


I wonder how Reg likes married life. I hope he won’t repent at leisure.  He certainly married in haste.


We are still having a strenuous time. The Boche keeps us very busy.  Leave seems as far off as ever alas!


I have actually had a bathe afternoon, and after buying some eggs and fish for the gun line fellows I am now going up the line with the ammunition.


It has been cloudy to-day but fine and warm. I suppose you are having it the same.


I have had to have one of my horses shot to-day, alas! It got a rope gall which got poisoned and then grew so bad that the hoof was nearly off – so it had to be shot.


The teams are just turning out. I hate this night work up the line with horses – you never know when the Boche are going to turn their guns onto the road and with horses it the dark it is horrible.


I hope you are keeping well, dearest

With all my love & kisses

Ever your


F. Hammond letter 24 July 1917

24 July 1917


Dear F & M

Glad to receive your letter and know you are all merry and bright.  I am just jogging along quietly taking an occasional walk thro the woods round about.  The fields also are at their best the natives round here work long hours in the fields from sunrise to sunset.  Could just do with a meal off Par’s vegs.  I’ve forgotten what garden peas are like.  Still I hope to enjoy them next summer with a bit of luck.  I see the Huns tried to get to London again.

I suppose Dolly is married by now.  Yes I recd George’s letter OK some time ago and sent him a picture pc in reply.  I have also sent him a few ordinary “I am quite well things”.  So Gladys is going to pay Hilda a visit.  I hope she has a good time.  You might remember me to her.  So Par has been at his games again.  I suppose he will be a mechanic before the war’s over.  I would like to see the lawn mower in its shed I should think it would look like an aeroplane in its hangar.  I suppose my dawg has got quite grown up but don’t think he likes to argue the point with other dogs.  The Russians seem a queer lot but should think Kerensky ought to pull things together.

Well I think this is all this time old dears.

Yours Gussie de Grabit

F . Smith letter 24 July 1917

July 24th 17


Dear Father


Just a few lines to thank you very much for your parcel received yesterday; also for Jessie’s welcome letter.  The contents as usual are very nice I know I shall enjoy them all; the cake is or rather was very good as it is all gone now.

Well there is not very much in the way of news to tell you, but I will do my best.  Please tell Ethel Wrigley’s is just what I want it is grand stuff when one is on the march we can get it out here but I never think to buy any until I want it then of course it is too late.  I will write to young Winnie the first opportunity have been going to do so for sometime.

I bet Jack is glad to get home again, & that he is keeping well.  He is having a long stay but of course not too long I bet the time goes too soon.  They make a great fuss about taking names for leave in this mob, in the end they only send one or two for about ten days.  I have not been out long enough although time is getting on five months I might stand a chance in another four, but I hope to be home before that.

Where do you all think of going for your summer holidays?  I should like to come with you but Mr. King said he cannot spare me at present I hope you will have a good time.

I received the 10/- note safely it was very welcome I answered it at once so no doubt you have got the letter by now but in case not I thank you very much.

I am at present engaged as officers servant have been on the job just over a week now. It has several advantages as we escape the majority of parades we only turn out on special days but it is a good rush then.  He has been in England for sometime but was with the Battalion before everybody says he looks after his servants well but I cannot say at present as I have had to buy several things for him that is where your 10/- came in handy but I know I can have it when I am in want of it.

There was a parcel waiting for me when we came to this place from Southend which was July 4th nearly three weeks now have not heard anything since have you had any news I hope they are well.

I had a nice parcel from Ciss last week. The air raid was very close to them I hope you have not had any more visits lately.

The weather is very nice at present I expect good old Blighty looks a treat now.

How is Mr. & Mrs. Darvill & family I hope they are all well & all others whom I know.

Well I think I must stop now.  Glad you are all in the best of health pleased to say I am A1.


With much love from

Your devoted



G. Hammond letter 22 July 1917



My dear Father and Mother

Gladys’s letter of the 11th was most amusing I can imagine Ma saying “What have you brought now?” and poor old Pa saying in a very meek voice a lawn mower, then I suppose Ma would say “Well we don’t want any more rubbish” in about a fortnight she would say it cuts the grass very nicely.  Well we are still by the sea and very pleasant too we had rather an unwelcome visitor this morning in the form of a 5.9 shell but he didn’t go off so it doesn’t matter.  Things are quite noisy here but we don’t get very much of it.  It would be rather a novel wedding accompanied by confetti in the form of bombs.  Still such things are very common here and one gets quite used to it.  Glad you received the cheque OK.  I had a letter from Hilda tonight saying Gladys had arrived.  I suppose she will know more about the family than I do for I have never seen Pa. I can imagine Ma **tting off to the plot and then giving Pa such a lot of valuable advice.  The only thing is if ever Ma starts pulling my leg I shall ask her if she has had any enlargements lately.  That is her week spot.  I like Gladys quiet suggestion that she will welcome any tray cloths I would like to send , well the first opportunity I get I will send her some the joke will be she will never finish them.  We are a long way from the place where I brought the last but I may be able to do a bit.  At the present moment I am the proud possessor of a German cap badge don’t for one moment imagine I have been busy killing Boche Oh No just found the helmet you know.  I had a Field Card from Gus tonight it has taken 5 days to come so no doubt he is a very long way off.  I am still waiting for his address and am damned tired of asking for it.  I would love to have seen Pa wrestling with that lawn mower.  It does keep him busy.  I am *** what with the clock and other little details does he find much wrong with the bicycles lately.  How’s the gramophone going now?  I do hope you are buying a lot of records.  I shall want to play it a lot when I come home.

It is a long time since I had a letter from Bill.  I hope you will buck him up.  The Major tells me he has recommended me for promotion today but I am not very confident.  It did not take Dolly long to get married perhaps she wanted to make sure.  Well this is all at present, mind that lad doesn’t get into trouble with that lawn mower.  I suppose he finds the oil very expensive now.  I am as brown as a berry, in fact you won’t recognise me when I come home for my moustache makes a very good disguise.  I have a little puppy now which was borne in the trenches so I am keeping it for a souvenir.

Well Cheer Oh!

Fondest love



A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 19 July 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 19 July 1917



July 19th 1917




Many thanks indeed for all your letters. They arrived in a bundle owing to the disorganisation of our mail consequent upon the move here.  You must punish me severely for not writing to you more by neglecting to send me any news if I behave like this again.


Thank you too darling for your kind messages. I value your congratulations much more than the promotion.  After all it is only an acting captaincy and liable to be lost at any moment.


I am very glad you enjoyed Mr Cross’ visit. I had a most kind letter from him the same mail that brought all yours.


After all your hard work you will be very glad of a holiday. Mind you have a good rest and recover from the effects of your toil as a farm labourer before I come home on leave.


Please thank Mrs Lowe for her kind messages & tell her I am sorry not to have had the letter!!


How is the picking getting on? And how is Maude behaving herself?  Look after her well and send her home in good condition.  I hope you will have a good holiday with Mr & Mrs Cross.  You will be returning home I suppose about the middle of August.  What a long time you will have been away!


Well! Reg is married I suppose. I hope he will keep or be kept quiet now for a bit.  Miss Scarfe is engaged and Humph too, I hear, to a nurse.  He has not taken long has he?  What’s the matter with everybody?


The Major has returned I am glad to say so I have come down to the wagon-lines for a bit of a rest and I am not sorry. Still I have plenty to do looking after the horses and carting the ammunition every night which is a long job.  Like Messrs Paice & Cross we have been forcibly ejected from our lines by the Boche and we have had another camp to construct, and horse lines to make and water troughs and harness sheds to erect.


Mother has guessed where we are. I wonder if you can.  We have had an extraordinarily busy time.  I don’t get the comparative luxury of Headquarters now but still at present I have a tent and a camp bed which is a lot more than a wet corn field which is all we get in the gun line.


The weather has been very bad lately but to-day it is gloriously fine. Just fine for an afternoon of tennis or bathing.  The latter I might get if there were less to do.


I hope you are both keeping well. Give my love to Maude and thank her very much for her letter which I will answer as soon as I can.


I am longing for leave and a time with you. I hope when I do get away the weather will be fine.  I am just living on for that time.  What a long time it seems since my last leave.


With all my love, darling

And many kisses

Ever your