Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 30 Mar 1915

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 30 Mar 1915

Our Wedding Day

My own darling one,

 

Must scribble a line somehow. Your 2 dear letters today.  I have kept the nice long one in my pocket all day.  Read it last night & took it to bed with me meaning to read it again but I fell asleep.  Read it again this morning – my only peaceful time to myself – viz – usual *** after breakfast!! & another dear one this morning.

 

Duly cake delicious arrived yesterday – had some for tea.  Am feeling wonderfully fit in spite of practically no sleep or rest – we start out 1 a.m.  General went to bed 7 p.m. – I did not get back till 8 p.m. & got up at 12.15 a.m. it’s now 9.15 p.m.!  So think I must try for a little sleep – but how could I pass this day without a line to my darling one – the dear memories of our happy times at Abagain & all the happy days we spent there.  Darling one – about the message by all means take it up but find out first how long it really take to be proficient.  Yes I think you are right there must be a great shortage of masseuse – you are sweet my darling one, always thinking of what you can do for others –  wish I could think same like – Dear Freddie’s remarks are I fear fairly true!  I have often wondered myself how Geoff & I have remained here – the old man – my nickname for him is “Systematic Joe” – has been terrible the last few days – I have worked like a slave – & he never seems satisfied – but I have refused “to kick against the pricks” – it has been hard at times – & every night I pray that I may be able to carry on and do my work as he expects – but it is very hard.  I fear he doesn’t realise things a bit – if I did all he expects I should want at least 48 hours for every 24 – my darling why should I complain on this happy day – we are having glorious weather here – the country peep from my window is very nice and the lake & moat nice blue water – I’m getting rather attached to Mont K.

 

All your news of Regt is most interesting, glad Johnnie Stansfeld is not bad – well my darling – sleep or work – which I wonder. Have enough work to keep me up till 12 – feel very inclined to do some more & then doss in a chair till 12.30 a.m. & then walk round trenches.

 

All my love precious one Yr ***        Jimmie

 

With envelope addressed to Mrs J. Dick Cunyngham, Heslington, Croft Road. Crowborough, England.  Signed Dick Cunyngham.  Passed by Censor No 1354 cachet.  Postmarked FIELD POST OFFICE 14.  30 MR 15.

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Mar 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Mar 1915

Barrackpore

Bengal.

India.

25 Mar 1915

 

Dear Edie,

 

Your letter of 24th Feb received.  I hope you use all your fingers on the type-writer.  It’s very nicely done & set out but never type your name at the end.  Always sign a letter, else it might come from anybody for all the receiver knows.  (Ahem.)  Hope you passed your shorthand exam.  No, I didn’t know I’d got any certs to come, I’d forgotten all about sitting for those exams.  Please let me know what certs they are & for what speed.

 

Should like to have seen & heard you playing your duet with Mr. Beake, I suppose he saw you home safely afterwards.

 

Sorry to hear you have to work an hour longer; I suppose you miss your early evening class.

 

Remember me to Alf Tyrrell

Yr loving brother

George XX

 

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Mar 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Mar 1915

Barrackpore

Bengal.

India.

25 Mar 1915

 

Dear May,

 

Your letter of 25th Feb to hand but what was the matter when you wrote it.  You miss out a word in the very first line, you miss a whole line at the bottom of the page, & sundry other slips etc.  Are you in love or were you in a hurry to get out.  Judging by your writing I should say you were in a terrific hurry.  You also commence by saying you’ve got nothing to tell me & then fill up 2 pages.  But you are not the only one that does that; Ma did it the other week.  It’s not a very cheerful thing to read at the beginning of a letter.

 

Glad to hear you are to be made a book keeper. I hope it will be at W.G. as you want it there.

 

We had a race-meeting here last Saturday. It seemed quite like London to see so many motors about; & they do fly along.  Apparently there’s no speed limit out here.  The R.F.A. (Royal Field Artillery) had one race at the meeting for a few of their horses.  There’s another meeting next Saturday.

 

You need not be afraid of me getting fat. We get plenty of exercise & any “overweight” is soon sweated out of us.  It is hot here now.

 

Yr loving brother

George XX

 

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Mar 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Mar 1915

Barrackpore

Bengal.

India.

25 Mar 1915

 

Dear M & F,

 

Thanks for your note at the foot of Edie’s letter of Feb 26th.  I had a letter from Bert at Rouen; I expect he’s in the thick of it now.

 

Well as you see we are still here. We shan’t leave this week now; we expect to go next Thursday.  This place doesn’t seem to have agreed with me this last week, my inside has been a bit out of order.  I’ve had a few doses of medicine & feel almost right again now.  But I think the change of air will do me good.

 

We had a thunderstorm every evening this week. (Perhaps it was that that upset me.)  One night the lightning was very vivid; every 4 or 5 seconds, it fairly lit up the whole place, & the rain comes down in sheets.

 

Further news in girls’ letters.

Hoping you are all well, Love to all,

Yr affec son

George

 

I suppose you are keeping all my letters?

 

George Ryan’s letter home dated 31 Mar 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 31 Mar 1915

Barrackpore

Bengal

India.

31 Mar 1915

 

Dear M & F,

 

Your letter of Mar 5th received.  Thank you for the Easter Card.  It’s the first mail we’ve received direct here & it’s arrived in record time, the letters only taking 22 days.  You do not say whether you received the pound from the office; (on the 1st Mar).  I suppose you did, but please let me know.  You evidently mis-understood my letter that you were answering, it was my fault I expect: when I’ve mentioned about getting wet through I’ve meant with perspiration, not rain.  We do not have to wear our tunics now, except on Church Parade.  We wear our equipment over our shirts so it’s much cooler.  It would look funny in England, soldiers marching about in shirt sleeves, but there’s nobody round here to see us.  Of course we have to wear our tunics outside the barracks, when we are not on parade.

 

Well, as you see, we have not gone to Darjeeling yet & we’ve no idea yet when we are going.  It might mean that we are all going to leave here soon, but there’s no telling.  As you know was the case when we left Dinapore, we are not given a month’s notice to shift.  We shall be here one day & a few hundreds of miles away the next.  By the way it’s been rumoured this last week that we should be leaving shortly for somewhere on the Persian Gulf, but that’s all it is at present – a rumour.

 

We’ve had some more thunderstorms this week: they are a sight. Flashes of lightning every 3 or 4 seconds & they light up the whole place as if by a flash of a big arc lamp & it lasts for hours sometimes.  I was on guard y’day & it looked as if we were in for it again in the evening; there was a little lightening but it all blew over & turned out a glorious night.  It was lovely between 1 & 3 a.m. when I was on duty, full moon shining; all the same I thought of my nice soft bed at 8 B. Rd & so I did between 3 & 6 when I tried to get some sleep.  I gave it up about 5 & tried to catch a few of the mosquitoes that had got into my net.  You can’t sleep once one of those things get into your net.

 

You made my mouth water at mention of your marmalade. We have to pay 7d a tin for it here & 9d for jam.  They are only small tins.  They say they contain 1 lb but I reckon it’s a jolly short pound.

 

Hoping you are all well.

Love to all,

George

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 21 Mar 1915

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 21 Mar 1915

 

My darling one,

 

Rather busy – one last walk round our trenches tonight – we go further north soon – to place you will see marked Mont K & we live in a Chateau very comfortable but within shell area, although it has not been touched – yet – Home circumstances changing especially after we have just got our trenches so good – Doubt if we shall find better ones up K way. If I don’t write tomorrow or next day you will know we are changing quarters.  Have written to Godfrey now lot and hope it will find him – Am taking round a Gen & Colonel tonight.  We shall be out from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. I expect.  Moon is up now, so we shall see something.

 

All my love my darling one,

Your devoted Hubby

Jimmie

 

With envelope addressed to Mrs J. Dick Cunyngham, Heslington, Croft Road. Crowborough, England.  Signed Dick Cunyngham.  Passed by Censor No 1354 cachet.  Postmarked FIELD POST OFFICE 14 21 MR 15.

George Ryan’s letter home dated 18 Mar 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 18 Mar 1915

9th Middlesex

Barrackpore

Bengal.

India.

18 Mar 1915

 

Dear M & F,

 

I’ve received your letters of Feb 12 & 19. I received quite a batch of letters with your first one last Saturday.  One from Charlie Soper at Malta, one from the office, one from the landlady at Sittingbourne & one from Cousin William at Holt.  I’ve also received a few papers from Holt.  I don’t remember seeing “Cousin William” unless it was that he came over from Uncle Tom’s some time ago.  I suppose nobody else is likely to write from there; perhaps you had better let me know who’s who in case.

 

We’ve practically finished our firing now. We expect to go to Darjeeling some time next week, so I am going to Calcutta this afternoon if I can get a pass, as we might not have the chance again for a little time.

 

Well I suppose we are out here till October now, as there’s no signs of moving, in spite of the rumours.

 

The 2nd partner at the office has got a commission in the Navy & the Governor’s son has joined the Army so there’s only the Gov, & Mr Walker left.

 

I’m surprised at the cost of the W.D. League’s uniforms, they must be very swanky things. They only ought to cost half that amount, 20/- at the most, from any army contractor, in large quantities.

 

Hoping you are all well,

Love to all,

George

 

Dear Ma,

Thanks very much for the tales about my naughty sisters. Lets have some more.  I’m surprised at May, I thought she knew better.  She hasn’t got me to look after her.

G

 

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 15 March 1915 on black edged notepaper.

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 15 March 1915 on black edged notepaper.

 

March 15th.

My own darling one,

 

You do write such darling letters. I love the story that Freddie has got, bar settling down to work that night at St. Quentin and doing a bit of Staff work for F.W.  I didn’t know I had done anything more than anyone else – I shall be amused to hear your description of Seely, I wonder if you will remember that I got him to take Pancake Allan away in his motor-car from Bavai.  There has been some heavy fighting North of us – went on all last night, incessant firing & rifle fire heavier at 3 a.m. when I got up & telephoned down to the trenches.  But I’ve really had 2 good night’s rest lately – and rather less to do by day – we are going off on our tour in 40 minutes time.  Hope it will be quieter than last time when we had to take to ‘dug-outs’.

 

They are building us a Hutment Bde Hd Qrs later on, so we shan’t have these daily moves – today just as we had finished lunch a shell went over the house and landed beside the road about 100 yrds down – the vet officer who hates shells was just leaving the house at the time & came running back for the cellar – they put 9 in altogether & 3 failed to explode. One hit the church & knocked the S chancel to pieces, Geoff and I had a look at it just now.  The priest and some nuns were trying to save some coloured figures – it is sad to see churches knocked about & this one has some rather nice oak panelling & pictures.  I wonder they don’t remove everything.

 

How killing about Neil – what is he doing at Camberley – such a place to settle in for the poor boy unless he is with Godfrey’s relations. Must write to Godfrey some time – really disgraceful I’ve never written him a line.

 

I enclose a bill which please pay if you have enough & when I tell you cap has arrived and is satisfactory.

 

Never heard anything about Dickie & Eva going to Warminster – and a house – how exciting – shall I come home & help train the new Army! Daniell in Seaforth’s has gone.

 

My chilblains are now small blue & black bruises the size of a shilling and are very tender in the mornings – or whenever I put on or take off my boots. Find my old field boots the most comfortable by day but must try and wear the Norwegians for the mud tonight – my feet are warmer now so I may get into them easier.

 

Woke up deaf in left ear this morning so uncomfy, still deaf now – perhaps ride will shake it up.

 

There isn’t any news much – more activity all round coming with the spring, new moon tonight, one looks forward to moonlight nights as then we can walk round in comfort, it’s no fun on a pitch black night- shall be home for dinner about 10 p.m. tonight I expect, anyhow there ought not to be any more work & I have written my usual letter.

 

I am so glad you enjoyed your little jaunt in Town, you richly deserved it – will you now think about joining a Lady’s Club in Town, I feel you would have somewhere go to when you go up where you could be comfy – I never did like you rushing about, lunching at Stewart’s etc & having no rest. Think of it, darling will you – must go and change for trenches – old coat etc.

 

All my love my precious one & god keep you both safe & give you the strength to bear all your anxieties.

 

Ever your own loving Hubby

Jimmie

 

With black edged envelope addressed to Mrs Dick Cunyngham, Heslington, Croft Rd. Crowborough, England.  Passed by Censor No 1354.  Signed Dick Cunyngham.  Postmarked FIELD POST OFFICE 14 dated 16 MR 15

George Ryan’s letter home dated 11 Mar 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 11 Mar 1915

1945 “D” Co

9th Middx

Barrackpore

Bengal.

11 Mar 1915

 

Dear M & F,

 

Our letters have not arrived here yet this week. I expect we shall get them to-morrow.

 

We have not finished our firing yet; we even went last Sunday; we’ve got a day off to day though. We have been getting up at 5.0 & leaving here at 7.0 a.m. but now we are not going to start until the afternoon, 2.30.  I’ve been getting on pretty fair but none of us “recruits” will get proficiency pay until we’ve done 2 years service.

 

Myself & a dozen or so others of this company are going up to the hills shortly. The major doctor came round & inspected us last Saturday & picked out a few of us, the younger ones chiefly & one or two that didn’t look up to the mark.  We expect to go to Lebon, Darjeeling, that’s the summer station for “troops” in this part of India.  By all accounts it’s a very nice place.  They say we are going on the first of next month; I can’t say how long we shall be there.  C.A.S. is going too.  You had better continue to write here for the present.  It’s a nuisance getting our letters a day later than everybody else, it’s bad enough when the mail’s late.

 

According to the papers we shall get another mail in here next Monday as well as the one expected to-morrow, as a mail boat is due in at Bombay to-morrow morning.

 

How’s my “old iron”. I suppose it’s alright.  It’s not worth while trying to sell it I suppose.  I shouldn’t get anywhere near what its worth.  You might set the back wheel in motion now & again, by giving the pedals a turn or two; say once a month. Don’t touch the front wheel because of the cyclometer.  The front wheel, too, only tell me what the cyclometer stands at before you touch it.

 

Hope you are all well,

Love to all,

Yr loving son

George

P.T.O.

 

About the front wheel on the bike, dad. I was forgetting you was so handy with the screw-driver.  If you unscrew the “cyclometer – striker”, it’s a little thing on one or the spokes that catches the cyclometer, the cyclometer will not work.  It might not come right off, but you’ll be able to turn it so that it doen’t strike.  No need to take the bike down to do it.

 

 

 

George Ryan’s letter home dated 3 Mar 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 3 Mar 1915

9th Middx

Barrackpore

Bengal.

India.

3 Mar 1915

 

Dear M & F,

 

Thanks very much for your letters of Feb 4. Sorry to hear about C. Closh.  I saw a letter he had written home in the W. Chronicle a few weeks ago.  I expect you saw it.  I should think he’ll be home for a few days when he comes out of hospital.

 

Well we didn’t go into camp at Jaffapore after all. We marched there & back each day.  Yesterday we went in our shirt sleeves, but we wore our equipment just the same.  We have not gone to-day; we’ve got to stay in barracks as the Viceroy is in or near Calcutta & we might be wanted as guard during the next few days.

 

I’ve only done 20 rounds of my firing, out of 200, so it will be a fortnight or 3 weeks before we are finished. This is not the test though.  I’m only firing the course I ought to have fired at Hythe before we left England.  None of us will get any extra pay however well we do.

 

I had a very bad cold on Mon & Tues & my eyes ached a bit through being out on the range all day, so I went down & saw the Doctor. He gave me a dose of something for my cold which brought it out very quickly.  I was blowing my nose every 5 min y’day but to-day I felt nothing of it at all.  He gave me some lotion for my eyes & advised me to get a pair of tinted glasses to wear while we are on the range.

 

Hope dad has still got something to do. By the papers it seems there’s a great demand for labour but I suppose it’s for skilled labour of a different nature to dads.

 

Trusting this will find you all well,

Yr affectionate son,

George