George Ryan’s letter home dated 29 Oct 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 29 Oct 1915

On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
29 Oct 1915

Dear Ma,

Received your letter of Oct 7. I’ve found out that brothers have to take a second place, as you say, & I’ve also found out that pals have to take second place. It’s a month now since I heard from a certain pal of mine (I won’t mention any names) & my elder sister only writes when she thinks of it – which isn’t very often – so together they must be having a very busy time. I hope you won’t let things go too far. I should like to be home to be able to act as – well never mind what. There’s one thing about it if they have not got time to write a letter they have not time to read one so they save me the trouble of writing.

We fired 10 rounds on the 30 yds range Wed morning. We are going to Jaffapore next month to do our annual firing course.

The news in the papers has been very good each day for the last fortnight. I hope it will continue; we seem to be in the thick of it now. I reckon it must end some time next year. By the way it’s a year ago to-day we left Southampton; it seems much longer than that. I hope next Oct 29 will see us making preparations for leaving India for Southampton.

Tell dad I should like him to pump up my bicycle tyres each time they get vary soft, as a pal tells me they don’t perish so quickly if they are pumped up now & again.

Hope you are all well.
Love to all,
Yr affectionate son

George Ryan’s letter home dated 22 Oct 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 22 Oct 1915

On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
22 Oct 1915

Dear Ma,

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

George Ryan’s letter home dated 22 Oct 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 22 Oct 1915

On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
22 Oct 1915

Dear Dad,

Thanks very much for your letter. I’m glad you are still keeping on full time at the shop.

No doubt there are a lot at work at Enfield but I’ve got some idea of what it must be like. The Factories here & at Cossipore & Ishapore are fairly big & are working at top speed. It’s a sight when they all come trooping out all dressed in different coloured rags & 9 out of 10 carrying umbrellas which they have to open as they are searched when they go out.

Thanks very much for looking after my bike. I don’t think there’s any need to pump up the tyres, as they are not on the ground. Unless you think it will help to keep them from perishing.

Told Ma all the news so can’t write any more & I’ve got to get ready to go on guard.

Yr loving son

George Ryan’s letter home dated 15 Oct 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 15 Oct 1915

On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
15 Oct 1915

Dear M & F,

Thanks for your letter of Sept 23rd. We still get newspapers alright. I don’t see how they could stop them.

Yes I wish I could come home & look after my sisters. Apparently they want a little looking after. But I don’t think you will see me home till 3 or 4 months after peace has been declared.

R. Bales had a serious illness I think a few months ago but I should think he’s alright again now. Have E & C Clark joined anything?

Our paper says this morning that there’s been another Zeppelin raid over London, but they did no damage to Public Buildings. I hope it wasn’t in your district. It’s time they found some means of stopping them. I notice Bottomley put rather a “puzzler” in his article in the Sun. Pictorial a few weeks ago when he asked how it was they never raided Paris now.

You asked me last week if there was anything you could send me. There are one or two odd things you might send next time you are sending anything. I’m pretty well off in clothing as after we got that £3= a little while ago I got some vests & khaki shirts & I’m going to get some thin socks & Pyjamas when I go to Calcutta to-morrow; they are quite cheap there. In my top left hand draw I think you’ll find a couple of hexagon shaped pencils, with protectors & rubber; you might send me those, also my “Shorthand Instructor”, my watch wrist strap – if it’s still knocking about – & some grey darning wool & a yard of ¼ “ elastic. And I should like you to get me a couple of tooth brushes, (shaped), a bottle of Brilliantine & a pipe. I can’t get any decent darning wool or tooth-brushes. I’ve paid 12a for the latter & I’ve paid 4a but neither are much good. You know the size bottle of Brilliantine I used to have. Don’t pay more than 9d for it. I don’t think you can get it locally but I expect Dad passes a barber’s. I’ve drawn the pipe I should like on the back of this sheet. Get a good one, a “Brumfit” or “Civic” or something of that sort. Pipes are not up to much here unless you pay a lot for them. The one I’ve got now I paid 2s/6d for in Calcutta but it isn’t a very good one, although it’s English make. (Peterson’s)

I only paid 3d insurance on Dad’s cigars so if your rates are no dearer its worth while insuring parcels. The rate goes with what you value the contents at. I think ours is 3d up to £1=.

By the way I hope you have not kept any of my under clothing – shirts, vests, pants, ties collars – what Dad can’t wear, put in the Rag-bag.

We are still arguing among ourselves as to whether we are going to Dinapore so answer this to Dum-dum. I suppose if we do move we shall only be given a few hours notice, as usual.

Hoping you are all well.
A touch of Prickly Heat now & again is the only trifle troubling me.
Love to all, from
Yr affec son

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne Oct 1915

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne


Extracted from


Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda & Correspondence







October 5 1915.


Royal Artillery Headquarters,

34th Division,

Elm Lodge,

Sutton Veny

Nr. Warminster.



“We have just completed two days move in the rain, on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday I went back to see that the old camp was cleared up.

The Brigade Major and I reside here alone, but the office is on the ground floor. The camp itself is about three miles away, where the troops are in huts.


October 7 1915.


R.A.H.Q. 34th Div.

Elm Lodge

Sutton Veny


“We moved here on Saturday and Sunday last in the wet. We got soaked to the skin.  It did not stop raining once.


Luckily I travelled by car, but the troops got horribly wet, poor wretches. My housekeeping duties are not so oppressive now, partly because I am more accustomed to them, and partly because the General is not living with us now.  He has a house in Warminster, and a wife to cater for him.  Our mess has therefore dwindled to two, the B.M. and myself.  Unfortunately our H.Q. Office and Mess are fully 3 miles away from the camp which is now of hutments; but it does not take long in the new car, a 30/60 horse power 6 cylinder Sheffield-Simplex.


Last night we went into Bath.  The B.M. with his people, and had dinner at the Empire Hotel and went to the Dollar Princess afterwards, returning about 12.30 a.m.


The floors of the mess were polished today, and we are to have rugs. The house was in a filthy state when we came in, but I am learning the use of Zog, Bluebell and soda.



October 18 1915.


I motored to Bath on Saturday afternoon, called on some friends, and then went to the Pump Room Concert.  This week the Brigades are cooperating with the “feet” in night operations.  Wednesday night is the only one off, and we make an expedition to the Theatre at Bath.  Sutton Veny is enough to provide a suicide’s grave.


November 3, 1915.


“Last Sunday I spent with S.E. Swann at Shirehampton near Bristol.

We are having a Route March on Friday for the whole Division. The artillery takes up six miles of road alone plus 270 yards.  The whole Division 15 miles.  I spent some time making out a road space table for the Division.

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Oct 1915

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Oct 1915


1915 diary shows Bombardier Gunner (Signalling Dept) A. G. Richardson 4th Section, West Riding Divisional Ammunition Column R.F.A., Norfolk Barracks Sheffield.

Home Address:- Station House, Ben Rhydding near Leeds. Yorks.



Friday 1st October 1915:         Went for rations at 9.15.  Cold wind.  Bad headache.  Stomach upset.  Afternoon at the latrines & in the bivouac.

Saturday 2nd October 1915:    Went for rations at 9.15.  In bed with chill.  Shivering all over.  Bed all day.  Feeling rotten at night.

Sunday 3rd October 1915:       Still rotten.  Rations 9.15.  Back at noon.  Afternoon holiday.  Cold day. Reading & writing.

Monday 4th October 1915:      Went for rations 9.15.  Back at noon.  Helping to put up stables in aft.  Poperinghe bombarded.  41 shells.

Tuesday 5th October 1915:      Went for rations at 9.15.  Back at noon.  Football match.  We won 3-2, I scoring last goal.  Afternoon letter writing.

Wednesday 6th October 1915: Went for rations at 9.15.  Back at noon.  Helping Dick Clarkson to put up horse jumps.  On H.Q. Guard.  “Stood to” at 4.30 am. Cold.

Thursday 7th October 1915:    Went for rations at 8.30.  Back at 11 am.  In afternoon helping Cpt P.H. Walker with the horse jumps.  P.H.W. jumping later.

Friday 8th October 1915:         Went for rations at 8.30.  Back at 11 am.  Wrote 3 letters before dinner.  Helping T.O.B. in aft with new stabling.

Saturday 9th October 1915:     Went for rations 8.30.  Back 11 am.  Made some jelly & custard.  Afternoon – playing football.

Poperinghe & Brielen.

Sunday 10th October 1915:     Went for rations 8.30.  Afternoon holiday.  Fine & warm.  Football H.Q. guard – 15 Shells into “Pop”.

Monday 11th October 1915:    Rations 8.30.  Back at 11.  Won 3 1st prizes with mules, N.C.O’s mount & harness.  Out at Pop. For P.H.W.

Tuesday 12th October 1915:    Went for rations at 8.30.  Back at 11.  Afternoon holiday.  Football & writing letters.  Evening we had a sing-song.

Wednesday 13th October 1915: Went for rations 8.30.  Back at 11.  Helping T.O.B. with Stabling.  Afternoon holiday.  Played football.

Thursday 14th October 1915:  Rations 8.30.  Back at 11.  Stabling with Butler.  On H.Q. guard.  Not a wink of sleep.

Friday 15th October 1915:       Rations 8.30.  Went up to Battery for gun-drill.  Saw Arnold.  Attchd to B gun with Cpl W. Dawson.  Good night’s sleep amongst the shells.

Saturday 16th October 1915:   Rose at 9.30.  Cleaned B gun with W.L.D. and Ray Renwick.  Fired 6 shell per gun.  All batteries round about firing.  Terrific din.  Result: stopped German attack 3 times.

Brielen near Ypres.

Sunday 17th October 1915:     Got up 9.30.  Went potato digging with Butler.  Gun laying & drill.  Out at night with Arnold.

Monday 18th October 1915:    Got up 9.30.  Gun laying practice.  German planes give battle to some of ours.

Tuesday 19th October 1915:    Got up 9.30.  German start “clodding” Dawson’s corner & kill R.E. Colonel.  Fired 8 shell from B gun in aft.  Went to Elverdinghe bricking 12-2 am.

Wednesday 20th October 1915: Got up 9.30.  German aeroplanes over.  Air duel.  Clodding the wood by the enemy.  Fired 10 shell per gun.  Went to Brielen village with Arnold.

Thursday 21st October 1915:  Rose at 5.30. & went with Horace Tennant down to O.P. & beyond.  Heavy artillery fired on both sides.  11th Battery in action.  Tenant & I between 2 fires.  30 shells near us.

Friday 22nd October 1915:      Rose at 9.30.  D gun firing 40 lb shells.  Quite a success.  We fired 8 rounds 50 lbs.  Playing at games at night.

Saturday 23rd October 1915:   Up at 9.30. Dawson goes to Wagon lines.  Sergt Gee back from leave.  Quiet day.

N.B. We knocked two trench mortars out of action on Friday.

Sunday 24th October 1915:     Got up 9.30.  My 19th Birthday.  Had a lovely tea with Arnold & Sergt Gee.  Beautiful cake from home.  Grand day.

Monday 25th October 1915:    Got up 9.30.  Terribly wet, 1st wet day for weeks.  Stayed in dug-out writing letters & playing games.            Gramophone on.

Tuesday 26th October 1915:    Rose at 9.30.  Potato digging.  Wet day.  Amused ourselves all day with gramophone, letter writing &           reading.

Wednesday 27th October 1915: Rose at 9.30.              Went to billets for meals.  In Brielen with Arnold shopping.  Fine day.  Many aeroplane fights.  Very thrilling.

Thursday 28th October 1915:  Rose at 9.30.  “D” gun firing 40 lb shells.  Quite a success.  Firing at German transports at Pilkem Cross Roads.

Friday 29th October 1915:       Rose at 9.30.  Fine day.  Firing 40 lb shell by aeroplane observation.  Went bricking to Elverdinghe 12 – 2 am.

Saturday 30th October 1915:   Rose at 9.30.  Fine day.  Aeroplanes up again & fighting enemy planes.  Fine sight.  2 “Archies” in action at billet.

Wagon Lines (1st) Poperinghe

Sunday 31st October 1915:     Rose at 9.30!  Potato digging.  Fine day, indeed, the last fine day for some time to come.  Aeroplane battles.

Recruiting letter Oct 15

War Office




October 1915



At my request, the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, representing all Political Parties working in conjunction with the Joint Labour Recruiting Committee are organising a great recruiting campaign to induce men who can be spared, to come forward voluntarily for service in the Army.  If this effort does not succeed, the Country knows that everything possible will have been done to make the voluntary system a success, and will have to decide by what method sufficient recruits can be obtained to maintain our Armies in the field at their required strength.


Mr. Asquith pledged this Country to support our Allies to the fullest extent in our power.  It was a pledge given on behalf of the Nation and endorsed by all parties.  Every man of military age and fitness must equally bear his share in redeeming it.


May I, as Director – General of Recruiting, beg you to consider your own position?  Ask yourself whether, in a country fighting as ours is for its very existence, you are doing all you can for its safety, and whether the reason you have hitherto held valid as one for not enlisting holds good at the present crisis.  Lord Kitchener wants every man he can get.  Will you not be one of those who respond to your Country’s call?


I am,

Yours faithfully,


Director-General of Recruiting,