Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 10 Sept 1914

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 10 Sept 1914
Sept 10
My darling one,
I am such a happy boy with a mail today, letter 2 & 3 arrived also 3 others, and we have been longing for news for days & days – my precious one what a journey back you must have had, do you mean to say you did it all alone without a man of any kind? I always understood you were taking a man – I heard from Charlie your journey was adventurous & was really getting anxious – The little photo is quite sweet, and it is so nice to have it.

You must all be pleased with the news now. The tables seem turned in the opposite direction and the only bad point is the discomfort of following behind an army – filth & dirt are not pleasing but our Med Off is tackling it well.

I managed to get some cigars & cigarettes so am full of smokes. Am wondering if my uniform will hang out much longer – my one coat is dirty my tartan knickers are stained, petrol only seems to clean them for a day or so – we had rain yesterday which has laid the dust & it is cooler – flies are beginning to increase & worry.

I fear there are many anxious ones at home, the long list of heroes – I cannot help thinking that some of the Regt will eventually turn up & that they are not all dead, it cannot be so. So many have turned up suddenly from anywhere.

Country now is very short of supplies, we have to send the French officers in cars to forage in the rear – but all our supplies come up wonderfully well fed with bread, meat, cheese, bacon jam & Rhum when wanted – motors have made enormous differences in supply – we are halted today, have time to settle up my work & write.

Prisoners are passing through they say they are very glad to be taken by us, and our men are good to them giving them water & rations.

Daily Graphic of 8th actually here today – I enclose a line to mother, please send on.
All my love, god keep you safe

With envelope addressed to Mrs J. Dick Cunyngham, Mount View, Crownhill S.O., S. Devon. England. Signed Dick Cunyngham. Passed by Censor No 224 cachet. Postmarked ARMY POST OFFICE 42 SP 13 14 & ARMY BASE POST OFFICE dated SP 17. 14


Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 5 Sept 1914

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 5 Sept 1914
Sep 5
My darling one,

I seem to have so little time to write but things are better tonight & I have time. Times still very strenuous – I fear news of Regt is very sad but we must hope for the best – I saw the few two days ago all very well & cheery – Willie Marshall feels it badly – have only just heard poor Shafto’s death – I am so sorry & I fear it will be some time before complete lists are out.

Still very hot by day & I long for Indian khaki – I find I sleep almost better outside than in a house & it is much more healthy.

My precious one I do long for news of you, mails have been very bad, only 2 letters so far, but will probably get a bunch in a day or two. Days have gone so wearily I have lost count completely – I believe it is Sunday tomorrow.

Find it hard to get cigarettes here – a kind man gave me ½ dozen yesterday – your meat lozenges are very useful & they do keep one going especially during a night march – I suck 2 or 3 & they help to keep me awake.

We are such a party now, nearly 40, difficult to feed, but so far resources of country have saved us. I see I am graded for A.P.M. as a D.A.A.G. Deputy Assistant Adjt Gen which means I believe pay at 550£ per annum. Far more than I expected or deserve. Would you keep a Copy of Gazette giving all names of Staff of Exp Force.

I do so long to have a peep at you in the little house, hope Mrs Clue is doing you well. Charlie writes your journey was exciting. I always thought it would be with Rhoda & her car. Dinner time not bad cook. Hope to learn how to make omelette before long –

All my love, my darling, one & kisses for Betty
Yr own Jimmie

With envelope addressed to Mrs Dick Cunyngham, Mount View, Crownhill S.O., S. Devon. England. Redirected to 72 Overstrand Mansions, Prince of Wales Rd, Battersea Park, London S.W. Signed Dick Cunyngham. Passed Army Censor No 224. Postmarked ARMY POST OFFICE 42 dated SP 6 14. Also postmarked Crownhill 7.30 p.m 16 Sp 14.

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 31 Aug 1914

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 31 Aug 1914

My darling one,

I have had some rest at last & feel more lively – I was almost overcome one day with fatigue & loss of sleep. I had only 40 min on the floor in 48 hours, & started off without any breakfast or sleep on a long days work – result, I couldn’t ride because I fell forward in the saddle. I couldn’t walk except like a drunken man, so I got on hanging on to a stirrup leather – Times have been hard and sorrowful, I have not seen or heard any authentic news of the Regt: and am in great anxiety – The Weather is dreadfully hot & oppressing – we manage to find fairly comfy quarters, one night in a beautiful Chateau, all furnished and we had an excellent dinner, commandeering some champagne & old Brandy to revive us.

I have not seen any casualty list, fear many friends have gone, and it must take time before lists are full & complete. A good many are turning up – Darling one I fear this is a dreadful anxiety for you all at home, I honestly hope the worst is over, but with such a huge front for Armies to work over it will probably take time.

Our letters have not been very good – only about 2 posts so far, somehow we never seem to settle down into working the post.

Have seen Weir, Charlton, Kay, & many other S.C. officers – I wish I could see the Regt & find out all about them.

Send me some more cigarettes & a small box of Harrod’s No 1 club cigar when you can I am out I find & don’t care for a pipe in this heat – I slept out last night & found it quite warm. Straw makes an excellent bed – I have found this paper in a case handed to me today so am making use of it.

My precious one, don’t be anxious I am very fit & as happy as can be. I still picture you in the little cottage – where you will be surrounded with sympathetic friends – I am writing to Mother now as we are waiting for orders

All my love to you both
Your devoted


With envelope addressed to Mrs Dick Cunyngham, Mount View, Crownhill S.O., S. Devon. England. Endorsed No stamps available. Signed Dick Cunyngham. Postmarked ARMY POST OFFICE 42 AU 31 14. Also London Paid 8 SP 14

Letter ref P C Lister 24 August 1914

Headed notepaper of
On Admiralty, War Office, and Crown Agents’ Lists.
The Parsons Motor Co., Ltd.,
Town Quay Works, SOUTHAMPTON.

August 24th 1914
The Recruiting Officer
Royal Engineers.

We have to-day filled in a portion of Army Form. . B. 195 handed to us by one of our employees now a candidate for enlistment in the Royal Engineers, namely Percival Charles Lister who was in our employment up till Saturday last the 22nd instant, and whom we regard as an exceptionally good Turner and Machinist on small accurate work, on ordinary Engine Lathes, Universal Grinders, Shaping & Slotting Machines.
He is accustomed to working to fine limits, and can use the Micrometer and Limit Gauges.
He has our best wishes for a successful career.
Yours faithfully

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 11 Aug 1914

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 11 Aug 1914

On headed notepaper
Anchor Line
Twin screw steamer S.S. Caledonia.

My darling one,

We are all aboard – after all the advance party went away earlier at 3.30 & here we are – a good big ship – food & all luxuries aboard – au revoir my darling
Your own

With black edged envelope addressed to Mrs Dick Cunyngham, Mount View, Crownhill S.O., S. Devon. Postmarked Southampton 11 p.m. Aug 14 14.

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 6 Aug 1914

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 6 Aug 1914

On headed notepaper of
The Dolphin Hotel.

My own Precious one,

Have just arrived 11 p.m. and am staying here – whole Town one was of officers & men.

I shall never forget your dear sweet bravery today, you gave me strength to bear up, and God I know will send his blessing on you both.

I hope my darling little Betty was a comfort to you this crossing – it was a sad journey here – but I had companions all the way – a nice young Devon Subaltern who thinks he will get to Jersey tonight to join his Regt.

I shall get my orders in the morning & shall I expect be very busy – things look in an awful muddle. Met ‘a Senior’ here tonight, he forgot my name. I can’t remember his at present! Bald headed gunner – shall meet many other pals I expect in the morning.

All my love & God keep you safe. I will write again tomorrow

Your own

With black edged envelope addressed to Mrs Dick Cunyngham, Mount View, Crownhill S.O., S. Devon. Postmarked Southampton 12.15 p.m. 6 AU 14.

Machine Gun Programme 12 July 1917







  1. Eight guns will co-operate.
  2. Map reference and targets as follows:-


Gun.                Map Reference.                                   Target.

  1. N.3.a.60.56                 DOLLS HOUSE, N.11.c.30.30.

C1.                  N.3.a.83.57.               CHATEAU RICHE  N.11.d.50.75.

  1. H.35.a.95.11.              Road to be traversed from N.11.b.82.02.                                                             to N.12.a.14.20.
  2. H.35.b.95.11.              Road to be traversed from N.12.a.14.20.                                                             to N.12.a.46.35.
  3. H.35.b.18.22.              Road to be traversed from N.12.a.46.35.                                                             to N.12.a.70.48.
  4. H.34.b.25.38.              Will traverse between N.6.d.70.80. to                                                                  N.6.d.76.99.
  5. H.35.b.41.36.              Road at N.12.b.43.05.
  6. N.6.b.32.56.                To fire on enemy’s parapet on left of                                                                               Raid (Bearing 197 T).


  1. (a) With the exception of No 6 gun all the above mentioned guns will give short bursts of fire during the evening of Zero day before Zero hour, and will continue to do this after Zero hour in order to cover the advance of the raiding party.

(b) They will not fire enough to become unduly conspicuous.

(c) Indirect fire will be carried out on these targets for 3 days previous to Zero       day.


  1. No. 6 gun will fire short bursts on the enemy parapet from Zero hour onwards; this gun will not be required before Zero day.


  1. All guns will open a rapid rate of fire the first 5 mins. if and when our artillery open fire. Otherwise covering fire only will be required during the period of the Raid.


  1. Covering fire will continue until the Infantry Operation is concluded.


P.H. Hausey


Brigade Major,

170th Infantry Brigade