F Hammond letter 4 Jul 15

62210 RE

4 Section Sigs

HQ 28th Bde

9th Div

4 7 15

I received your cake I don’t think Gladys

 

Dear Mar & Pa

I received Gladys little parcel which just came at the right time.  I am still alive and kicking.  We have moved again twice since last I sent a letter but I don’t suppose we shall shift again as I don’t think you will hear from me for about 10 days at least by letter.

I could do with a good washerwoman and a darner at times but manage to knock along alright.  We had 3 taubes over us yday and can see the star lights which they fire up at night which look very pretty.  We can also hear the machine guns & rifles too sometimes.  The flies out here are a perfect nuisance great swarms all over the place.  I am in the best of health only for fly and nat bites.

I had a letter from Geo & Will the other day.  I see they have made Geo into a Glorified Copper.  When are we going to have these shells Lloyd Geo speaks so much about and an army of aeroplanes eh.  They seem to be taking a census I see.  I am quite comfortable here.  Remember me to any enquiring friend.  What about taking up a war loan.  If Geo gets his Com you can do as you think fit with my overplus.  I suppose I shall be finding Gladys with her hair up and a big dog in the passage.  Glad to hear you are all well.  When are you going on holidays this year?  Will it be Blackpool?  I suppose you will be having Uncle Will up there before long.  Going for a swim in the canal after tea so Bye Bye  Fred

July 1915

 

When the Ministry of Munitions was formed on 2nd July 1915, David Lloyd George was appointed Minister. The Munitions of War Act were passed in July 1915 in a desperate attempt to tackle the problem of labour shortages on the home front. Government control over labour was required to overcome the soldier-civilian balancing act. With some 2.5 million men having volunteered for military service, skilled jobs were being performed by unskilled labour. Included in the civilian labour force were women who were answering the call to participate. The unions were unhappy with this situation but Lloyd George found a way to appease the unions. Productivity of arms, shells and equipment increased.

 

16th July 1915 saw the British National Registration Act in force whereby men of eligible age were conscripted to work in the factories that were under military jurisdiction. This ensured the boost to the production of munitions. Women were encouraged to undertake the work formerly done by men releasing the men to continue to join the military. Conscription was introduced into the British military forces in May 1916

 

The second battle of Isonzo began on 18th July 1915 with the Italian forces attacking Austro-Hungarian defences. The River Isonzo was the front line and the Italian objective was Trieste, which is 20 miles (34km) into enemy territory. The battle lasted until 30th August 1915 but the end result was stalemate and with horrendous loss of life on both sides. There were to be a further two battles for Isonzo before 1915 was over.

 

On the 30th July 1915 saw the first tactical use of flamethrowers. At the battle of Hooge, just outside Ypres in Belgium, the Germans used the flamethrower consisting of a backpack containing a pressurised reservoir of nitrogen and coal tar/benzene mixture. Connection from the reservoir to the ignition nozzle was by a flexible hose. When the trigger, complete with the igniting device was operated the pressurised liquid was released through the nozzle projecting flaming liquid approximately 47 mts. (50 yds). The flamethrower was designed to destroy enemy strongholds or enemy troops.

 

In July 1915, Pope Benedict XV condemned both the sinking of the “Lusitania” and the German blockade of Britain as unchristian. In time of war, French Catholics were outraged at the neutral stance of the Roman Church. The Catholics were denied the patriotic commitment of all French citizens to defend themselves.