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I have posted this before but couldn't find it so thought I would post it again. This was from my fathers cousin Trevor Manning Davies who was educated at King Edwards he is listed on the memorial in Aston Parish Church.
I thought you might like to read some of the contents of a letter written by my father's cousin who lost his life at the battle of the Somme.
Date 30th June 1916
My Dear Father and Mother,
I am so sorry to cause you grief but I have given orders that this letter to be posted only in case I am killed. I am going over the parepets in the morning with the infantry Colonel 5th Sherwoods. I am acting as liaison officer between the artillery and the infantry, and have with me three telephonists who lay wires across the front line to the Germans. The attack will be made under cover of dense smoke, and with a little luck we should get across all right, but one never knows.
We have been bombarding the Hun for a week now and thousands of shells have been rained on hos trenches. We all feel tired and so are the guns: their springs are broken and we have had to have new ones. If I get through, I hope to be relieved in twenty four hours and come back.
He then sends love to family members by name especially his brother.
Your affectionate son.
Give my love to all at grandma's and all relations.
1st July 1916
I am starting in 20 minutes. Thank you so much for all you have done for me, and all you have had to put up with from me; I am sorry. My love to you all.
Oh Wendy that has brought tears to my eyes We cannot imagine what he must have been feeling and also how desolate his family must have felt when they received that. Even at the end he was thinking of them and the pain they would feel. Such a brave man, as they all were.
Hi Wendy, how sad and such a waste of talented young men. I have a letter from my gt. uncle to his sister (my grandmother) its dated 27/2/1916 just about two months before he was killed age 23 in Palestine - he married in 1914 and had a son. He was born in Worcestershire and was a china painter apprentice - so perhaps was talented!! The letter is very,very fragile so will do my best. I can't read where he was.
"Dear Amy, thanks ever so much for parcel received yesterday. It was most welcome as it is a job to get anything here there are no houses or native villages round here as it is all desert. We are patrolling the country from where the Turks are expected to come(if they ever do) they stand no earthly chance here of getting through our defence.
We are going out into the desert for a week at a time then having a week in camp. We get plenty of work, there is not much chance of getting stale. I am keeping quite well
(I don't know why but the end of the letter didn't post - I'll finish here)
have never felt better. Henry Stephens is on our brigade headquarter transport he is back in one of the villages somewhere, I have not heard from him since we came up here.
I hope you are all keeping well, I am glad you went to see mum, I thin k she worries unneccarily about us, and I expect you bucked her up a bit.
I suppose Alf is in one of the groups, is he likely to be called up.
Our correspondence is censored here so I can't say a lot I would like to, or give the name of our station.
I shall have to close now so goodbye for the present, Yours affectionatly, Fred"
Makes me feel very sad for these young men. It's amazing they all say they are well!!
PS I also have a letter from the Boer War if anyone is interested.
sheri these letters make such sad reading we have no idea what these young men went through. Such a long way from home with only letters for contact with their families. I am only glad some letters survived for us to read today. Wars are always so terrible with the loss of such young people.
I would love to read the text of your letter from the Boar War.
I am grateful to have the letters too Wendy - I truly believe that I rescued them along with photos of my grandparents when young and others - my grandmother lived with my uncle at the end of her life - on the day of her funeral we went back to the house and this packet of photos etc where on the bedside table - I could see there were photos and asked my dad if I could have them - I truly believe my aunt would have thrown them away - a most unsentimental woman - I suppose I sort of stole them as I didn't ask my uncle!!! But my brother and I were the only grandchildren so I thin k they belonged to us.
Will post the Boer War one at the weekend.
Hi All, Not exactly A Letter from the front, but it does have a bearing on the original post,as its by the same author my uncle John William Thomas Emery,Known as Bill. Here's my effort at a transcription of the letter/note more importantly it was on the back of a photo which has just come to light a photo that my cousin had stashed away in an old tin, this photo has been on the forum before,but we was'nt really sure who it was, now we know its Bill, he appears to be discribing a new comrade who he had previously wrote to his parents about " you can see he is a young fighting soldier" " he has 7 years to do from england" apparently 7 years was a typical length of service for a pre 1914 recruit to enlist for, so from this i assume that the soldier seated, with a two year long service stripe is Bill,it seems that the photo was taken 2 months before the out break of war,when he was in Hong Kong, The barracks there was ' gun club hill barracks 127 Austin road ' Michael.
HAS YOU KNOW THE HALL OF MEMORY WAS BUILT TO COMMEMORATE THE 12,320 BIRMINGHAN CITIZENS WHO DIED AND THE 35,000
wHO WAS WOUNDED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR. WHEN THE PRINCE OF WALES LAID THE FOUNDATION STONE ON 12 june 1923, he said the
Building would stand to symbolise to generations to come that birmingham stood for,during a period of great national crisis -- work of every
Kind unflinchinggly given,
Compassion to the sick and wounded, courage and resourse in adversity, and above all,self sacrifice in the face of death,
THERE ARE EIGHT VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS ,WHOM ARE BURIED IN BIRMINGHAM AND SOLIHULL;
james cooper , won his victoria cross off the Andaman islands in 1867 and buried at warstone lane hockley
Alfred knight ; woon his VC AT Gravenstafel Ridge near ypres belgiumin 1917 and is buried at new Oscott colledge
GEORGE ONIONS WON HIS VC AT ARCHIET- LE PERIT ; IN 1918 AND IS BURIED IN QUINTON CEMETRY
GEORGE RAVENHILL WON HIS VC AT COLENSO IN SOUTH OF AFRICA IN 1889 AND HIS BURIED IN WITTON CEMETRY
ARTHUR VICKERS WON HIS VC AT HULLOCH QUARRIES , FRANCE IN 1915 AND IS BURIED AT WITTON CEMETRY
THOMAS TURRAL WON HIS VC AT LA-BOISELLE SOMME FRANCE IN 1916 AND IS BURIED IN ROBIN HOOD CEMETRY SOLIHULL
SIR ARNOLD WATERS WON HIS VC AT ORS ,FRANCE IN 1918 AND IS BURIED IN SUTTON COLDFIELD CREMATORIUM
ALFRED WILCOX WON HIS VC AT LEVENTIE, FRANCE IN 1918 AND IS BURIED AT ST PETERS AND ST PAULS CHURCH ; WHICH INCIDENTLY IS NOW ASTON PARISH CHURCH OF ASTON ,
BERNARD ;May i add my uncle ; my fathers brother was killed in action at the battle of somme and his name is encronched of the gate of somme
along with the rest of our dear old comrads and brave men whom fought for king and country and lost there dear lifes for us all;;
best wishes bernard alan;; Astonian;;