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


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