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Sunday, 17 October 2010

Letter Home - 18 October 1915

RA mess, Ipswich, 18 October 1915

Dear Family,

There is a good lot to write about this week, but very little time to write. I was sent off for a week at camp on Wednesday night, and was camp orderly. Things were pretty lively for the first half of the night, as we had two Zep raids, one at 11.30 and the next at 1.45. The first one came over after I and two other officers had been in our bunks ten minutes. Of course, there was nothing for it but to turn out and wake all the men. Everything went splendidly - or rather was going well, until some silly asses outside Ipswich had a go at the Zep with a maxim. He promptly turned round and dropped five bombs, which made a fiendish noise. The bombs fell about one and a half miles away, very near a big camp, but I do not think they got anybody. We were nicely tucked in again when we were wakened up for the second time, and in the excitement I put my boots on the wrong foot, and there they had to stay. This one went straight over us. We could not see either, as there was a fog hanging over us. It was just a thin one but enough to hide us from the enemy.

The Tommies took a lot of looking after, as the silly asses would light cigarettes and strike matches. We put a couple of them under arrest, but it did not seem to do much good. I think if we had left them alone it would have been better.

Things are still going on in the same old way here: plenty of work to do, very little time to do it in. However we all muddle along and get strafed by the Adjutant, whom everybody loathes. Every day you get a sort of hopeless feeling with him that you can never do anything right, but who worries? There are some nice men here, but there are also some awful rotters who seem to think they are here on a picnic – a sort of don't-care-or-try brigade: why they joined at all, I don't know. There are very few English born men in the Mess - nearly every man has either come from the Colonies, or has just come back from living there. There are even some men from Rangoon and China.

Well, goodbye, it is so nice to see that we are getting the rain,

I hope you are all well,


(The next post will be a letter dated 23 October)


  1. Interesting comment about the social aspect of the callup.

  2. I liked his instinctive sense about the Tommies that "if we had left them alone it would have been better."