Letter to his father, 11 October 1916


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Letter from Sherriff to his father, 11 Oct 1916 to his father (4 pages)

Address: ”C” Company, 9th East Surrey Reg[imen]t, 24th Division, B[ritish] E[xpeditionary] F[orce], [France]. Sherriff arrived at the front line yesterday [10 Oct], and has completed one day of a tour of duty which will last for eight days. He has a ”…rotten piece of line to look after” which is being heavily bombarded by the Germans, and he feels ”…utterly fed up…already”. He is on tour of duty twice during every 24 hour period.

(SHC ref 2332/1/1/3/90)


11-Oct-16 part 1 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90

11-Oct-16 part 1 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90

11-Oct-16 part 2 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90

11-Oct-16 part 2 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90


11-Oct-16 part 3 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90

11-Oct-16 part 3 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90

11-Oct-16 part 4 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90

11-Oct-16 part 4 Letter from Sherriff to his father SHC ref 2332 1 1 3 90


Transcript

C Company

9th East Surrey Regt

24th Division

B.E.F

11.10.16

Dear Pips,

I received your letter dated the 4th just before we left the reserve line and I was very pleased indeed to get it as I thought the letters must have been going astray – and I received a letter from Mother dated the 7th last night – in which she says that it is the fourth letter she has written evidently the others which she addressed to the 9th KRR have gone astray – it is a pity that I told you to address them to KRR as I found out at the base that I was not attached to them – but with the East Surrey.

I am hoping I may get Mothers other letters but am afraid that I will not now – all the same I hope to get all those you write now.

I came into the front line yesterday morning and have now just done 1 day out of 8 and am of course utterly fed up with it already.   We have got a good deep dugout for sleeping in and for generally living in but we have a rotten piece of line to look after which the enemy

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keep pretty hot with “Minenwerfer” sort of trench monsters which send big things over which do a lot of damage to our trenches which means constant working parties busy all day.

We do two spells of duty very 24 hours – 2 hours by night and 2¾ hours by day and then 1 hour in the evening and one in the early morning when the men “stand to” for an hour – this makes 6¾ hours duty per day – it does sound a great deal but I tell you when you are up in charge of your piece of the line the time goes as slowly as I have never known it to before – you have to occasionally patrol your area and see that all is well and all the time keeping an eye craned on the sky for shells – it is very nerve straining indeed and especially so as I am near to it – but I hope for the best and try and look forward to the time when all the beastly affair will be over – after 8 days (which I expect will seem months) we will go 8 days out and then 8 days reserve again – I hope in a better part of the line than we have here.

Of course I cannot give you a hint as to where I am – it is a serious crime and you must not mind me not dropping you any hint.

Please try not to worry

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about me Pips, it won’t go any good, I am afraid, but we must all try and keep our spirits up as much as possible and always hope for the best – even here, where one cannot see a spark of humour, you have a certain amount of pleasure when you return to your dugout after the tour of duty and have a quiet sleep or read.

I hope all is going well with you at home and I am so glad to have heard from you – it cheered me up a great deal.

Well, one can’t expect to be cheerful under the circumstances over here, but will forward to the time when the affair is all over and normal affairs recommence.

I am on duty from 12 till 2.45 so must begin to get ready now.

I have got my Marcus Aurelius and old Mortality to cheer me up as well as the thought of home so I am not hopelessly fed up – I would don’t think I would ever reach that stage anywhere, though, as I passed a certain amount of Philosophy which I can always apply when necessary.

I hope the time will pass fairly quickly till the time comes for us to be relieved – and then what a relief to get some release behind the line where you can wack along an open road and across open fields again.

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I expect you are still getting your walks in the Park, yes I look up at the same old moon and Plough as you do – its strange isn’t it – but there is something friendly even about that thought.

Well goodbye for the present, I will endeavour to write you a letter every day while I am up here as well as one to Mother.

Hoping you are well and are able to get home fairly early from the office.

From your loving Son,

Bob

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