George Ryan’s letter home dated 11 Feb 1915
11 Feb 1915
Dear M & F,
Thanks very much for the parcel, which I received yesterday. I didn’t expect to get it so soon. The pudding isn’t the first I’ve tasted this year, but of course it was the best. Both the pudding & the cake were alright, none the worse for the journey. The cake smashed up a bit when I cut it, but that’s a sign of good quality isn’t it? Tell May, as far as I can see, the cherries on top are intact. The cigarettes are A1 quite a treat, the tobacco ditto repeato. The handkerchiefs will be very useful, as one or two of my old ones are showing signs of wear, in other words split almost in two. In fact I’m using one now as a cleaning rag. Also tell May the piece of rag you put in will come in very handy, she seemed to think it wouldn’t be of much use. If she would like to know all particulars I’ve torn it in half; one half I’m using as a tea cloth, (I like to wipe my knife & fork etc, myself, then I know it’s done properly) & the other half I wrap my bread in. (We are given a pound loaf in the morning & have to keep half of it for tea).
I didn’t have to pay any duty on the parcel as I expected. Apparently that new order comes into force, that soldiers pay no duty.
Well, we got back here from Ishapore last Sunday. We had a very easy time there, I would not have minded the job for good if we had had a few things with us, as we had a chance of mixing with the English people a bit, that’s more than we can do here. I didn’t have a chance of going over the Factories but perhaps I shall next time, if we go again.
We’ve been put through it slightly since we got back here; a four mile run before breakfast, drill, sham battles, etc 9 – 12. Then two afternoons a week we go for a route march at 4.0 p.m. We went for one on Tuesday, between 7 & 8 miles. We got back soaked, trousers, tunic & all. It does take it out of you, it’s too much in the hot sun.
The barracks here are not quite so handy, there’s a second floor to them but the beds are a little more comfortable, the corrugated iron being replaced by interwoven strips of iron.
I forgot to tell May last week I made my first attempt at darning socks – the last week we were in Dinapore. So my socks lasted well, didn’t they. I made a very good job of it, but I don’t think the darns looked quite so neat as yours. I couldn’t get on with putting my hand down the sock, so I pushed a tobacco tin down & did it that way.
We have not got the letters here this week yet. The mail boat was 3 days late, then ours will be another day later still as they’ve got to be forwarded on from Dinapore. It’s a nuisance keep changing our address. I expect a few weeks after you’ve got this address we shall have shifted again.
Hoping this will find you all well,
Yr loving son
This is the last sheet of that lot of paper you gave me I can’t get any more till the canteen opens this afternoon. But I think you will be able to read this alright.