Monthly Archives

June 1917

It’s splendid picnicking country

June 24, 1917

No.4 Officers’ Mess,

Perham Downs, England. 24/6/17

Post Card, Tidworth

Dear Amy,

I am in a camp about a mile from this place. It’s splendid picnicking country.

We finish our day at 4 and it’s light until 11pm, so we ramble and enjoy it. I carry field glasses and a revolver and there are a few rabbits to shoot. I can get them sometimes.

Love from Stid.

 

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Stonehenge

June 24, 1917

No.4 Officers’ Mess

Perham Downs. 24/6/17

Post Card, Stonehenge.

Dear Nona,

I am not very far from these old stones now and intend to go out and see them before leaving England. The final exam we had at Oxford was on a map around these stones.

I will be leaving here for my unit in about a week and am looking forward to seeing my chums again. I’ve had about 5 months here and it has been a pleasant hold. It’s great to have been a schoolboy again.

Love to all from Brother Stid.

 

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It gets me out of parades

June 14, 1917

No1 Command

Durham Downs. 14/6/17

Dear Amy,

I’ve left Oxford. Had a fly around back in Camp and leave on the 21st and will be among the boys soon. I am 2nd Lieutenant and like the job. There is still plenty for me to learn but I have a fair groundwork for a base and my old experience will help me. Seeing other people work is much easier and cleaner than doing it myself. I have a man clean my boots and room and attend at meals so am to have a better time now onward if my old luck sticks and it probably will. Everything is good.

I’ve been acting orderly officer yesterday and today and probably will be while I’m here. It’s usual to get only a day at a time but the other chaps aren’t keen on it and I don’t mind. I keeps me occupied. it’s much easier to do a job continuously than to keep changing about and I’ve a fair eye for what agrees with me. It gets me out of parades. I am just as busy or even more busy than those who go out but I don’t like drilling much even when it’s only the yelling part. Officer’s job is something like that of the M.C. at a bush dance.

By the way I had a few waltzes in London one evening and found there is just as much fun in it as ever and I’m just a kiddie soldiering in England. It’s a comparatively easy matter to spend money and though we us and company must not carry our bags it’s a kind of unwritten law and it amuses me to slip out of a taxi and wait for someone to get my bag who isn’t better to carry it than I am. Still, it’s all part of the day’s march and I guess the habit will grow on me in time.

There are four 18th officers here. The others have been wounded and are returning with me so we keep each other company. Clap trap ends.

Love to all,

Stid.

 

Being saluted and carrying leather gear

June 4, 1917
Letter from Stid

London, 4/6/17

Dear Amy,

I got through my family alright and have the commission. I got 10 days leave the day after the exam, 31st May to June 11 – the same date I was on leave from France last year and Jim Harrison, a lad who has been with me since I became a soldier is in London from the 18th Bttn.

I am to meet him this afternoon and will probably spend the time with him. Aunt sent me Arthur Wigram’s address and I went to see him at Skippall’s (?) Bush. He is interested in aircraft building and I thought he maybe able to help me to get into it. He couldn’t, but he was very nice to me as was his wife who is a very pretty girl. They have a nice home and no children. We had a nice dinner in the city and theatre after. I stayed with them until today. They wanted me to spend all my leave with them but I felt it would be mean. If I knew them well I would rather spend more time with them because I have plenty of money to go to the theatre etc. and like a home better than pubs.

It’s a wee bit strange to be walking about as an officer, being saluted and carrying leather gear. I will send some photos along in a day or so. I may as well let you have one of me as a second Lieutenant. Feeling a bit bushed now and not in much of a writing humour so it’s just claptrap.

Love to all, Stid.

 

Letter to Stid