Trenches: ‘a most awful time’

This is one of many letters sent by staff of the Great Western Railway Audit office at Paddington who had enlisted to fight in the First World War. (RAIL 253/516)

Richard Frederick, Hull, 19 June 1915, France. Born: 4 June 1892, Joined GWR: 25 July 1908, Regiment: 1/6 Seaforth Highlanders, 1st Highland Infantry Brigade, Regiment number: 2161, Rank: Lance Corporal, Died: 1974

Transcript

Dear Gerald

Many thanks for letter which was somewhat a surprise to me. No the news was quite fresh as I do not hear from anybody in the office.

We have just come from the trenches where we were for seven days and had a most awful time. We were three days in the Reserve and put in the firing line where we took part in an attack and were also under a very heavy bombardment.

I am sorry to say we had many casualties thirty five killed and one hundred and thirty eight wounded and I can assure you it was an experience I shall never forget. Anyhow Williams, Kemball and myself came out quite safely.

I have seen Frost out here, of course his battalion (8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) are in the same brigade also, as a matter of fact, they were in the firing line the night we came out. I received a letter while I was in the trenches from Mr Slater. Yes, I heard about Chamberlain, jolly sad was it not, if you do hear from Dick James you might pass any news on to me…

Shall be glad to hear from you. I could write more, only am a wee bit tired after seven days in trenches.

I am yours sincerely, Fred Hull.

P.S. Of course you know my address. Remember me to all I know.

 

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