Letter from RAF to German Air-Force 20 August 1918

To:- The German Flying Corps.


Can you give us any information regarding the fate of :-

Lieut. C.F. Drabble and 2/Lieut (!on!) R.W. Rawley, missing on 13/8.1918 on machine Nr A. 7907.


Lieut T.E. Kearney and No. 121816 Sergt. H. Hammond missing on 14/8.1918 on machine Nr A. 7856.


Captain H.R. Gould and 2/Lieut (on!) E.W.F. Jinman, missing on 14/8.1918 on machine Nr. A 7902.


From: The British Royal Air Force.


In Manshinenschrift

Engl Fliegermeldung gefunden am 23/8.18 in den alten engl. Drahthindernissen vor Metz en Ponture.

In brown envelope marked On His Majesty’s Service, To German Flying Corps.   K.



English fliers found on 23/8/18 in the old English ***** for Metz en Ponture.


Letter to Miss Dillon 19 August 1918

On embossed Admiralty notepaper

c/o British Embassy,


19th August 1918


My dearest Lillie,

I was awfully pleased to get your letter posted on the 12th, this evening on my return from Inmana.  I am so glad you have made friends with the Wilcockers and that you like them.  I think you are wise to stay on at Lee Grove Park, as you seem to be so happy there!  I had a glorious time at Numana, but I felt just a wee bit homesick for Rome although I was only three whole days away.  I had the nicest bathing I ever had.  There was only one other English officer there, but I met several delightful Italians who were most friendly.  In the train back from Ancona to-day I met an Italian attaché from the Italian Embassy in Paris we had travelled out together from Paris to Rome last May.  Of course we fell on each others necks.  It was the funniest coincidence.  He was spending a few days with his family in Central Italy before returning to Paris via Rome.  I took leave of him at the station, and would you believe it?! We met again in the same restaurant for dinner!  He told me there was a British officer on the train who asked him if my name was Dillon when he saw us speaking.  He told me the said British officer told him he was at college with me and tried to see me afterwards, but missed me in the crowd.  So I went off to the station and found a T.C.D. [Trinity College Dublin]chap, whose name I cannot remember but whom I knew fairly well.  It was very funny “entirely”?  He was on his way to France around via Rome, so we just had a chat for a quarter of an hour at the station all about our lost youth.  It was grand to have a breath of old Ireland even for a few minutes.  His train left at 8.40 p.m. and then I went back to the station at 9.30 p.m. to see off the Italian attaché to Paris.  Of course we are great friends now after our three chance meetings so we have arranged to meet again in Rome, Paris or London.  I am taking a day off tomorrow and going for a drive with Lord Monk-Breton on the Appian Way.  He is going to England soon I am very sorry to say, and I do not know if he will come back.  I am always afraid that the Naval Mission may come to an end, and in that case I shall try to be transferred to the Military Mission, which by the way comes under Major Haldane.  In that case Lord Monk-Breton might be of more use to me in London.  So you see it is impossible to think of leave at present, although I am always longing to see my dear folks in London town.  Lord Monk-Breton will settle the question of my *** in London.  My Bank has received nothing yet and they are beginning to get crotchety.  I am awfully happy.

Best of love to you & Anna

From Willie

Many thanks for the Bystander and the other papers which I have received all right now. Of course I noticed and appreciated the funny thing in Punch to which you allude.


Many thanks to Anna for letter & book on Tabs which arrived this morning 20.8.18


Geoff’s letter to father 18 August 1918

My dear dad,

Many thanks for your letter. Tomorrow you will be starting north & I hope you have a real good time & good weather. On previous visits you have had bad luck for weather & I am afraid the weather has changed again. Here today it has taken it all its time to keep fine but possibly it is only local.

With regard to the grouse you offer me, the postal arrangements here are pretty bad, & I should prefer to have them cooked at home & sent out. Dyer, Bennet & myself are forming a little dinner club & we propose to dine out once a week & invite a few pals to feed with us, so a brace would come in top hole for one of these little festivities.

Things are looking very bright out here aren’t they? It was a bit of a surprise to see us hit back so soon & to such good purpose & it must have startled you at home a bit. There is no doubt about it that man Foch is a marvel. We always thought he had a good bit up his sleeve, but he has changed the whole outlook of the war in the space of a month.

We got a new crowd of fellows in yesterday & we start off work tomorrow, so shall be pretty well occupied for the next 5 weeks. It will be 5 weeks nearer leave.

The old lady in my billet has just come in & brought me a species of French pancake you eat with butter & sugar. It is blazing hot & beautiful. It is like nothing I have ever seen before.

I hear mother was robbed of some car tools the other day. Jolly bad luck I must say. Will you get anything out of the insurance.

Have you heard anything of Win lately? I have written to her several times but I expect she hasn’t had much time or felt like writing yet. She is pretty hard at it just now I guess. The people here are, 4.30 a.m. till 10 p.m. Sunday s included. They have got a little girl in at this farm to help – 13 years old & she has to do it. She is a strong little thing but I’m dashed if I should like her job.

Well dad keep fit, have a good time & don’t get a chill.

With very best love & best respects to the party
Your loving son

2/6th Bn. The Sherwood Foresters 17 August 1918

2/6th Bn. The Sherwood Foresters




25/2/17                        Left HURDCOTT, SALISBURY PLAIN. – ENTRAINED at  FOVANT.  Left FOLKESTONE for BOULOGNE.

31/3/17                        Attacked and captured villages of VENDELLES and JEANCOURT.

27/4/17                        Attack on HARGICOURT QUARRY and Cologne Farm.   Quarries captured and line consolidated.   Total casualties 11 Offrs & 250 O.R.s.

9/5/17                          Inspected by Lt. Gen. Sir W.P. Pultney, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.S.O. Comdg. III Corps, who expressed his appreciation of the smart appearance of the Battalion.

26/9/17                        Attacked at YPRES – Objective D.14.d.3.6 (incl) to GRAFENSTAFEL ROAD (Excl).  Objective was reached and held.  Total casualties 11 Offs. &220 Other Ranks.

1/12/17                        Enemy attacked heavily near LA VACQUERIE.  Battn. attached to 20th Division.   Total casualties 3 Offs. & 130 Other Ranks.

5/2/18                          Inspected by Lt. Gen. Sir A. Haldane K.C.B., D.S.O. Commdg VI Corps.

21/3/18                        Battn. occupied U.14. (57C).  Heavy enemy Barrage on front line from 5.0. a.m. to 9.30. a.m.  Enemy attacked very heavily at 9.30. a.m.  Total Casualties  30 Offs  650 Other Ranks.

30/3/18                        Visit by H.M. the King whilst Battn. was stationed CAMBLIGNEUL.

14/4/18                        Battn in front line in front MONT KEMEL when enemy attacked.  Enemy held until line relieved by 28th FRENCH Division.  Total Casualties  6 Offs. & 220 Other Ranks.

7/5/18                          Battn. became a Training Cadre.  20 Offs. And 690 Other Ranks despatched to Base, whilst at ST OMER.

9/7/18                          Received notification that 2/6th Bn. The Sherwood Foresters was to be disbanded.

G. Hammond letter 16 August 1918

Envelope to E. Hammond, 9 Countess St. Davenport Stockport.

Field Post Office 110 17 August 1918. Passed by Censor 613 Signed G.G. Hammond


16 8 18

My dear Father & Mother

I am writing to you this week because I suppose Gladys will be staying with Hilda just now.  I hope she has a good time.  Well it is ages since I had an opportunity of writing you a letter but I have been moving about quite a lot lately and have had very little time but I will answer all the letters now.  Apparently the last time I wrote anything like a letter was about a month ago when I was playing at being soldiers with the Yanks.  You know simply because I happened to write a decent letter well Gladys must needs be sarcastic and ask if I have been using fullers earth as a main ********.  Does Gladys still write to me every Sunday for her letters have been very irregular of late which is no doubt due to the stress of work in the food control office.  I suppose Ma has read the Wipers Times by now.  I was awfully amused at them myself most of it is so realistic especially when you know what the conditions out here are like.  I can just imagine Pa unpacking that supplies kit.  I suppose he hacked that canvass unmercifully and Ma sorting out the doubtfully clean garments.  I don’t know exactly what you think of the Kemps business but presumably whilst everything was for the best and it’s no use worrying in fact I would not have cared to go into partnership with **** if, judging from Kemp’s letter he is so mean.  I am sorry to hear the 10/- I thought Pa would have a little burst with nearly all went in paying for my kit but I must send something along for both your birthdays as soon as I have the chance.  I would have loved to have seen Glad in the office.  There is one thing if ever I do come on leave again she will be able to put me wise with regard to my ration card.  Since I have received so many supplicative not to *** *** to the RAF.  I have decided to wait a little while and see what happens of course the RAF is about the cushiest & safest job going but perhaps I am better on the ground.  I had no idea I possessed a second cousin in the RAF one does feel surprised to know we were represented in that branch of the service.  How is old Gus progressing I owe him a letter and hope to write off a little correspondence now.

I hope he has not been writing home for ***** O Govts again.  Has old *** gone yet.  He will look a great herb in khaki.  I suppose Julia Leah is forming *** next.  I am sorry to hear Ma has had a bad cough but in her last letter Glad said it was much better.  However never mind I will perhaps be home sometime before long and will cheer you up a bit.  **** the war new jolly good the old Boche is finally getting it in the neck.  I bet this war doesn’t last more than a further 3 years.  What do you think?  It’s like you to sit in the drawing room and watch the crowds of people running for shelter from the storm.  I remember Ma used to find much amusement from it.  I would have loved to have seen Pa cleaning out the cellar.  I suppose he had **** best **** in the gar***, that used to be his very first effort I would love to have some new potatoes especially just now when I think I have made a great meal if I have half an onion & a tin of Bully.  Well not quite so bad as that.  Is Bill ever going to get married.  I don’t think he will, the old dog.  I am going to call on him just next time I come on leave.  I have examined the cream laid note paper Ma brought as a bargain and can’t say it appeared to have been a huge success I would advise buying ordinary note paper next time it may be better I am pleased to hear that MA has been to see you.  I suppose she looks much older now.  Dolly’s husband seems to be a bit of a slacker don’t you I think either that or he is very lucky.  I hope Frank gets his commission.  I would advise him not to try for the infantry but don’t suppose he will have much choice.  I would love to have seen the typing Gladys did in her letter I told you if it was no better than some **** when I was in the orderly room some time ago he *** have some difficulty in reading it.  If not too bad when I come on leave I will play Pa at bowls provided there is some liquid refreshment obtainable.  Gladys seems to be putting quite a lot of time in at Morris just lately.  Does she get any tennis there?  I have been thinking that after the war we will buy a plot of ground and have it laid as a tennis court.  I might also persuade Ma to play croquet.

I am delighted to hear Will will not be called up just yet two of us away from home is quite enough.  I am now coming to the last letter Glad wrote since receiving which many changes have taken place.  I am now once more a lieutenant so don’t forgot to address my letter accordingly we have absorbed by the 1/7th so my address now is just 7th Manchester &c of course it was impossible for me to keep my other pip as all the officers are permanent rank I am 2nd in command of a company and perfectly happy having such a good crowd fortunately.  I knew most of the officers in Southport so it is almost like being home from home.  Naturally at first it was a bit upsetting but I am quite the **** now.  There is practically no prospect of promotion as you will understand as there are at least 14 senior to myself however it doesn’t matter much, all the other captains who came have lost a pip also so it rather helps things.  You will be sorry to hear Bollon was being sent home sick but was unfortunately sunk in the Wolta and drowned, and I am the only one left now who came out in the advance party so I can’t grumble.  Naturally I shall do my best to get a captaincy again but as I have remarked I am very junior.  You would have a great time with Bill at home.  I wish I could have been with you but perhaps the war will be over by next year.  I am in great form at present but wish Pa would refrain from talking of new potatoes & green peas as it makes me feel hungry.  Yes I quite believe Gladys Grimshaw would be surprised to receive two letters from me within 4 months.  I am afraid it will be some time before she receives another though.  By the way Edgar won the MC about a week before we joined this Bn.  He is in great form.  Bill was quite right it was a bit of a shock to have to start walking about with a pack on my back again after I had been used to riding a horse but no doubt it will do me a lot of good.  I would simply hate to develop a paunch like he had the last time I saw him.  I suppose the food control will be a state of chaos since Gladys’ departure.  She will almost be fitted to take over Clayton’s job soon.  Then perhaps I will able to touch her for a fiver or two.  I have not forgotten to send the cheque for the birthday but if I don’t in my next letter remind me for my cheque book is not available just now.  I hope you get away for some holidays soon before the weather breaks.  It is too hot for anything here and I am going about in a thin white shirt and underpants until the cool of the evening.  I am A1 just now but until recently kept having slight attacks of trench fever.  I can see Ma will have her hands full after this war if ever I have a serious attack she may be hot stuff on surviving mumps but I bet she can’t insist on me taking castor oil to cure trench fever.  Gladys insists in her letter I am “fed up” she never made such a mistake in all her life.  I am in great form but wouldn’t mind a few days at home.  Still when I do come I only over feed so even being here has its advantages.

Now I wanted you to do a bit of business for me. Cigarettes are very scarce just now in fact I haven’t had a decent cigarette for week so I want you to ask old Harding to send me some out.  The sort I used to have before with GH or he may sell them by the lb but I want him to send me cigarettes monthly at the rate of 400 per month.  Tell him to get them from bond as they are much cheaper so I believe and will you please send me 50 out yourself immediately and tell him to send the 400 at the beginning of every month.  I want you to pay for them to begin with and once I know the price I can send him a cheque direct but it won’t waste any time if you pay for the just lot and I will send a cheque as soon as I know what you have paid.  This is all now it will take you hours to read this and I am not in arrears now.  Well don’t forget the address and write as soon as possible send the cigs.(50) by the same post.  Fondest love to all.  Hope to be on leave soon

Your loving son


Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 16 Aug 1918

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 16 Aug 1918



Aug 16/18


Dear Sir,


A man named Fred Bowman of 14 Castle Way, North Finchley has been to see me about his home affairs.  He seems in a very depressed and disturbed state of mind and tells me he has not heard from his wife for many weeks.


It appears that last year he obtained leave on compassionate grounds but when he arrived home he forgave his wife the trouble she had caused and left her in his home with two children.


Can you please let me know if the woman is still at the above address, and if not where she is thought to be?


The man is specially concerned about his two children, one of whom is delicate.


I am the C of E Chaplain at the 37th General Serbian Hospital, Salonika Forces where the man is under treatment for malaria.


I shall be glad of any information you may be able to give me.


Yours sincerely

  1. Sellors C.F.


P.S. I am writing to a Dr. Lorke opposite Woodhouse Rd to ask him if he can see the little boy and report.  J.S.

F. Hammond letter 14 August 1918



Dear F & M

Just a line to say I am jogging along just nicely.  The news just lately has been very extra and if we keep it up much longer I can see this blinking war coming to an early end.  In fact I thought of asking Par to book a few turkeys for Christmas from the farmers round Woodford ways.  Was glad to hear you have had visitors including Boley Bill.  Has he lost his onetime curly locks yet.  Suppose Aunt MA is looking quite an elderly matron by now.  It’s just the sort of weather for holidays have you made up your mind where to go yet.  When does Gladys resume her studies suppose she has developed into quite a business girl during the recess.  Has Par seen anything of Gill lately had a PC from Fred Minshall the other day he seems to be having a good time beyond suffering from the terrific heat.  How’s my dawg getting along does he still make a halt at the principal hotel doors.  I hope you have broken him off such a bad habit otherwise he will be bringing discredit on his master.

Well I think this is about all this time.

Hope you are all keeping well

Let me know where Geo gets to

Cheerho  Fred


Spr Hammond RE 62210

Letter re Lt Philpott 13 August 1918


5th C.M.R. Battalion



Officer Commanding

9th Cdn Field Artillery



I wish to express my appreciation for the splendid manner in which the section under the command of Lieut E. PHILPOTT which was attached to my battalion during our attack on August 9th 1918, was handled.


Lieut PHILPOTT was well forward and in constant touch with the situation, and at all times had his section in a position to open fire promptly on indicated and opportunity targets.  He afforded us the greatest support, and in my opinion proved himself to be a most courageous, energetic and efficient officer.




O.C. 5th C.M.R. Batt’n


Letter re Alf Smith 13 August 1918



Machine Gun Training Centre,





Dear Sir,

Ref Pte. A.A. Smith 142678

Attached please find Coupon which please hand on to the above Prisoner’s next of kin to enable them to forward Personal Parcel, the contents of which must strictly conform to the list of articles shewn on the circular letter already sent, or the whole may be confiscated.

Shall be pleased to receive a regular monthly subscription of 10/- but if 15/- per month could be sent this being the cost of one of the new size parcels, one parcel per month could be sent in his Father’s name, otherwise I must ask him to inform him in his letters to what extent he is helping.

Yours faithfully


*****  Capt. Hon Treas. M.G.C. P.O.W. Fund

To Mr Smith, “Manorfield” 100 Arcadian Gardens, Bowes Park, N.22.