The Great War in Lemsford Parish - Letters of WW1

Letters of WW1

By Andy Chapman

Letters of WW1 .From the Bishop's Hatfield Parish Magazine 1914 to 1919. Watch our slide show and click on image to enlarge

    Letters of WW1

    Lemsford News September 1916

    Herbert Freeman – By the kindness of Mrs Freeman, we are enabled to print the following letter from Private Freeman's captain. He speaks with feeling and knowledge of Private Freeman, and his testimony must be consoling to the stricken parents. We offer our deepest sympathy to them in their heavy trouble in the loss of so gallant a son. “Dear Mrs Freeman. I have received your letter of the 20th inst., and regret I can only confirm the news of your son's death, as reported by the War Office. He was killed by a bullet in the attack on the German Trenches on the 1st July, death being instantaneous. He was buried with a number of his comrades on the battlefield, about half a mile north-west of Carnoy., which is a little village about four miles east of Albert, his name being written on the cross over his grave. All his private possessions have been forwarded to the base, and should reach you in due course. Your son, Private Freeman, was one of the most useful members of my Company, and has, on several occasions, done most excellent patrol work during the winter. It may be some consolation to you that he died most gloriously in the foremost of the attack, which commenced on the 1st, and which or Battalion had the honour to lead. Please accept the sincerest sympathy of the Officers of his Company and myself in your sad loss. Yours truly, A.E. Percival, Capt.”

    Lemsford News January 1917

    Christmas Parcels for the Boys at the Front – As announced last month, the subscriptions for the school prizes would this year be devoted to parcels for our old boys, the present scholars took up the cause with great zest. On Thursday, 9th December, 27 boxes and the necessary contents were taken into school, and the children were very busy packing the individual contents into the several boxes. These consisted of sweets, chocolates, tobacco, cigarettes, cocoa, soap, candles, apples, oranges, cakes, magazines or papers, and a sprig of holly. Then the boxes were tied and afterwards sewn up in canvas. On Tuesday, December 21st, our first reply came. To show how the boys appreciated the contents I have quoted an extract from on of the letters received. “Just a few lines to thank you and the children for the splendid parcel received on December, 15th, in excellent condition. Some of the contents are luxuries and some are just what we want for we cannot get anything here just behind the trenches, where we are now resting before going up again. It seems nice to think we are not forgotten and anything from home is always appreciated. “ Our thanks are due to the following ladies and gentlemen for kindly subscribing to our prize fund this year – Mrs Holdsworth, Colonel Fellows, Mrs Sear, Mr Horn. Ten letters have already been received full of grateful thanks.

    Lemsford News April 1917

    War Notes. - Letters have at last been received, giving particulars ofCecil Whiteand Christopher Wren, who lost their lives in the first months of the Somme battle. Captain Finnie, of the 4th Fusiliers, who is not unknown in Lemsford, writes to Mr & Mrs White: “You have already been informed that your son was sniped on the 16th August. His equipment, along with many other sets, was blown to pieces, after it had been taken off his body. Your son was buried by men of his own company. He was a splendid soldier and liked by all in the company. he died doing his duty, a thing I know you will be proud to hear. His comrades sympathise with you in your great loss” A Corporal in another regiment has written to Mrs Wren about her son: by some mischance the letter written last July , was only received last month. It says: “We started in the front line at half past three in the morning; during one of our halts, I was at the head of our section, I met your dear boy, he had been wounded, and I helped him to a place of safety: we made him quite comfortable, and gave him necessary attention until further aid came. I had to go further up the line: about an hour and a half later, we had to retire, and we stayed just where your son was, and I went and saw how he was. Our doctor was there: he was quite cheerful at the time, and our platoon stretcher bearers took him away to a large dressing station. At night, I was asked to go to the dressing station, and there was your son laid out. I took his personal belongings, and we buried him in a soldiers cemetery near Albert. I must tell you that he was quite prepared to die; he asked me in the early morning to write to you if anything should happen to him, if I came through alright. Our Captain gave me permission to write to all the Boy’s people who I had anything for.” It must be a great consolation to those who loved them, to know that these two brave young fellows were spared prolonged suffering, and that all that was possible was done for them.

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Parish magazine 1914 Home Front - News from the War - Church News
Parish magazine 1915 Home Front - News from the War - Church News
Parish magazine 1916 Home Front - News from the War - Church News
Parish magazine 1917 Home Front - News from the War - Church News
Parish magazine 1918 Home Front - News from the War - Church News

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