B. E. F.
9. 10. 15.
My dear Father,
Very many thanks for your letters of the 6th & 7th received this morning, also for yours Olive’s & Mother’s of the 4th & Mother’s of the 5th, which I got this morning but which reached here then yesterday when I was up in the trenches.
Our Adjutant Stacey (Captain) is at the Royal Free Hospital Gray’s Inn Road & you might be able to glean things from him only as he is wounded in the jaw I don’t suppose he can talk much. I now understand he can’t talk at all. However I am quite sure he would like a visit, if anyone is in the neighbourhood.
Tommy is in hospital in Ireland & Lofting & Price in England but I do not know where
The cakes have not yet arrived, but are no doubt on the way. Many thanks for the Aquascutum coat, which sounds exactly right & also for the boots which should also be the very thing. I will let you know more when they arrive.
I am back in the rest camp still getting things sorted out. We have now got a number of tents & are consequently not so closely packed and more comfortable.
Since writing the above two mighty cakes have arrived which have been duly cut into & greatly appreciated. Now that we are going into trenches a few odds & ends in the food line would be very welcome, as they vary the diet. Another interruption, as there is trouble about some returns which do not apparently add up but the discrepancies have now been explained & the staff Captain sent away happy.
Please thank Mother very much for the socks which are always useful especially thick hand knitted ones. In the trenches it will always be difficult to keep the mens feet warm.
I have been expecting the Divisional G. O. C. round to-day & everything has been very spick & span for him, but he has failed to turn up & consequently the brass taps have received their unaccustomed polish in vain.
We are losing our Trench Interpreter to-day, not a bad little chap but rather inclined to weep, when he gets into difficulties & much less useful than he thought he was. I take it that we shall now get a Belgian, but I don’t know that we really want one except to cope with the inhabitants who want to be looked after pretty carefully – not that I have had any trouble with them personally but they were fairly ungracious when we went round to get billets & rob the British Tommy like burglars.
I must now cease
love from Jack.
Joey is at No 1 General Hospital Camberwell I enclose a copy of the Brigadiers message Would you mind keeping it for me? I will send a copy to the Cressys. I wonder if my Equitable Premium has been paid. If not wd. you mind doing it. £12.
This letter finds Peirs back from the trenches after spending a day up the line with half of his battalion. Peirs informed his father about the location of officers from his battalion who were wounded on the 26th and have been transported back to England. Considering that his battalion has been on the move and he has been swamped with paperwork and the many new duties he inherited as a result of taking command of the battalion, he is well informed as to Captain H.W. Stacey’s condition.
His father procured for him an Aquascutum coat to replace his lost Burberry as well as some trench boots. His family also sent some cake, which he was very glad for getting. Interestingly, the loss of his interpreter was met with something of a relief as the man was apparently prone to anxiety. The complaint about the locals robbing soldiers blind is a ubiquitous one in WWI letters from the front.