George Ryan’s letter home dated 22 Oct 1915
On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
22 Oct 1915
Many thanks for your letter of Sept 30. Sorry to hear about C. Dixon being wounded. I already knew about Alf Ham. I think I’ve told you before he was one of the chaps we left behind at Sittingbourne.
Thirty two of us spent 2 days under canvas this week at Cossipore, Tuesday to Thursday there was a Hindoo Festival & the next day there was a Mohammedan Festival. The Mohammedans at their Festival kill a cow, which is considered a sacred animal by the Hindoos, & if they can they like to kill it in front of a Hindoo Temple, which of course causes trouble. Well we had to be at Cossipore close at hand in case there was any trouble. There was not room for us all in the Guard Room so we had to camp out at the back. However we were not wanted so we “struck” camp & came back yesterday. It was jolly rotten up there for us as we could not go out & there was nothing for us to do. We were supposed to be ready to turn out in a few minutes, at any time. We had to march there & we had to march back as there we[re] no “Gharies” available. The Ghari-wollahs were taking part in the festivities I suppose. On Thursday we had to let down the tents & beds & load them on the wagons. It wasn’t half hot. We’d done quite enough by the time we got back. I’m not looking forward to going to Jaffapore next month where we shall live under canvas while we do our firing.
It’s very nice under canvas as far as sleeping goes but there are no conveniences & nowhere to keep your things. And then of course there’s plenty of them wretched ants, all sizes – 1/8 ” up to nearly an inch, & they get all over the place.
Moving to Dinapore seems to be a “Washout” now. The Colonel got the move sanctioned but it would have to be at the Battalion’s expense but it’s all fallen through for some reason or other.
Have my photos that I sent you kept alright? I notice one of those I’ve got left is a bit dis-coloured.
Hope you are all well.
Love to all from
Yr loving son