World War One Voices of the Armistice

this podcast is part of the National Archives voices of the armistice campaign commemorating 90 years since the end of the First World War hear more voices at national archives gov UK forward slash armistice part 1 of 4 my name is William Spencer I'm the principal military specialist at the national archives at Q rail 253 stroke 506 Great Western Railway Audit Office Paddington Station a collection of letters from members of the staff who served in the Audit Office sent back to that office after they had joined the army jure in the First World War it is an unusual collection for such a discreet amount of material relating to a very small office to survive here at the National Archives August 1915 the first issue of the newsletter has been favorably received thanks are due to those who kindly lent the letters and photographs in the august issue we have several very interesting letters we are able to report that AE ripping t'en is now getting about with the aid of crutches we wish him a speedy and full recovery from his wounds Harold warts of the Drake battalion naval volunteers writing from Gallipoli Peninsula gives some idea of the strenuous time he is undergoing there it is gratifying to hear that parcels of cigarettes tobacco and other delicacies are being forwarded from the office to our colleagues away on active service those desirous of cheering up our comrades can be put in touch with those forwarding parcels da only thanks very much for your letter and Kane wishes the winds again on all right they have discovered 11 and all it is jolly hard not to be able to sell but suppose a month Wilson slept by my people came to see me yesterday and the day before you had to see my face they cannot shave me because of scraps of shale sticking in and as I had no either chef Roberto a week before I was winded Alec a pretty picture well char I'm glad i mended together of that hill and if you ever me a chart that says he wants to go by calling a liar but you could manage to come down at any time I should be deleted well I must close no an expect you have quite enough trouble to lead why I've written already hoping to be with you soon you don't power Rep dear Arthur I expect you're all wondering why I've not written but it is an awful effort to get all correspondence off and be on active service at the same time I can't say that I'm enjoying myself out here it's awfully hot and when eaten up by millions of flies life in the trenches is not a picnic either we have about four or five days out of them and eight or nine in them when we're around supposed to be resting we have to go on working parties digging etc then wherever we are we're always on the shell fire so it's not much rest after all the last shall we have in camp there was four killed and 17 wounded we've been under fire for three months now we should like a rest as the strain is tremendous on one's nerves I don't think the troops in France get it quite as bad then again the only comforts we have a cent from home as a country here is quite barren we cannot buy anything in shops I'd give a quid for a pint of beer down the club a food consists of half a loaf of bread per day bacon and tea for breakfast will he be from biscuits for dinner and jam for tea and cheese lime juice is served at about four times per week that is a drop is put into a dick's of water and a cup full serv damper man and rum is served out twice a week sometimes that's about 4 tablespoons each we live in a trench and it's a mercy don't rain otherwise we be washed away the fighting just lately has been terrible our shells not the enemy always and the site in the trenches that we take is awful where I respirators because of the awful smell of the dead I'll never get the sight out of my eyes and it will be an everlasting nightmare if I am spared to come home I'll be able to tell you all about it but they cannot possibly write as words fail me I can't describe things t how old was this podcast is recording of extracts taken from records at the National Archives and is a copyright to the crown you

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