The History of Leith

March 30, 2012

EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS SENT BY SOLDIERS

EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS SENT
BY SOLDIERS.
R. E.—I have much pleasure in writing you, and
at the same time thanking you most heartily for the
parcel you sent me. I was much taken up with the
Testament, which I think is just lovely. It was what
I was wanting, as being away in a strange country one
finds some joy in reading it. The rest of the contents
of the parcel were very inviting, and getting it in the
trenches, the parcel came in very handy. The weather
out here just now is good, and the place we are in is one
of the best in France. We have been at Ypres for quite
a long time, and had a hot time of it. I was quite glad,
in fact, when we got relieved and came to this part of
the line. The trenches up here are just like palaces,
with every convenience in them. We have even got a
piano in the trenches and that in itself is a great joy
The trenches we are in just now are situated in the
centre of an orchard. I tell you it is grand being here,
cherries, pears, apples, and other fruit ! The cherries
are just Al : in fact, I never tasted anything like them
in the way of fruit in “A^d Reekie.” We get permission
to climb the trees afliight when it is dark, but
we do not go up during the day as there is every possible
chance of a sniper getting you. Our Battalion is getting
leave, but they are going a very slow way about it, so I
can’t really say when my turn will come. But patience
is a virtue, and I will just need to exercise it and wait
my turn. . . .
J. A.—I am now taking the opportunity to thank
you very much for the parcel you forwarded to me.
“The contents of the parcel were all that could be desired,
and I can safely vouch that my chums fully more
appreciated the parcel than words can express. It was
when I came out of the trenches that I received it, which
made it ajl the more enjoyable. Life in the trenches
has now greatly improved owing to the weather being
more favourable. Those who have stuck the winter out
here now feel the benefit of the warm weather and are
once more like themselves again. At the place where
we are billeted troops are coming up every day. Sooner
or later there will be a big battle on here and I hope
victory will rest on our side. It is a pity that our
ammunition workers go on strike at home, for our
artillery require as much ammunition as they can manufacture
to shell the enemy from their position. What
I say, the men who go on strike at home should be
packed out here and experience a bit of Tommy’s work,
which would teach them which end of the stick is the
best. I would say they would rather prefer to stay at
home at their occupation and do their bit with a better
mind. However, I sincerely hope that war will soon
end and peace once more reign over Europe. . . .
P. J. (since killed). — I now take this opportunity
of writing you these few lines to inform you that I have
received the parcel sent by you and also the Testament
sent by Mr. Swan. I can hardly find words in which
to express my gratitude both to you and the Church
and Sabbath School for the kindness and thoughtfulness
which always helps to cheer one up during our long
hours of duty in the trenches. . . .
W. D. —Just a few lines to let you know I received
your parcel all right, and enjoyed the contents very
much. I don’t know how to thank you for it. I always
carried a Testament with me, but I will also carry your
one and it will remind me every time I read it of South
Leith Church. We have a service nearly every Sunday.
It is ‘held in a field or farm-yard. . . .
D. H.—I received your very welcome parcel and I
must thank you and all who sent it. I was not long
out of Hospital when I received the parcel, but glad to
say that I am feeling all right again. . . .
W. J.—I write you a few lines to let you know that
I received your parcel and was very pleased and much
surprised, for I did not expect to get anything from
people that I do not know. But this world is full
of surprises, and we look forward to nothing but
surprises. ; . . This is the first that I have received
from anybody but my wife, and she is the only one that
writes to me, but now I hope to hear from you again
and I shall answer at the first opportunity. . . .
D, B.—I am very pleased to let you know that I
have received the parcel you so kindly sent me. The
contents were in perfect condition. You might please
thank the members of the Church and Sabbath School
for me for their kindness. I am in perfect health and
getting on all right and hope that with the help of God
I may be spared to come home again fit and well. . , .

source-South Leith Magazine-1915

Some Text