Trenches: ‘Fritz was bombing us’

This image is an extract of one of the many letters sent by staff of the Great Western Railway Audit office at Paddington who had enlisted to fight in the First World War. The image shows part of the letter; the full transcript is given below. (RAIL 253/516)

William Charles Frederick Wiggs, letter sent 23 December 1917, field card sent 8 January 1918, France. Born: 2 February 1881, Regiment: Royal Engineers, Railway Troop, Regiment number: 218855, Rank: 2nd Corporal, Died: Oct-Dec 1971


Dear Mr Smith,

I hope you will accept my apology for not writing before. It has not been want of will it has been lack of opportunity. I wonder how you all are. I am fairly well now but was very queer for several weeks recently. I also often wonder how you are all getting on and should like to hear.

A matter of about five minutes ago Fritz was bombing us, and I have just got up off the ground where I was laying for about twenty minutes. One fellow has been hit, but not severely by shrapnel. This is his second visit this evening.

It will soon be twelve months since I left you. It seems a very long time ago. I am afraid I have very little I may tell you, so will conclude by asking you to accept my best wishes for the New year and desiring that you will remember me kindly to any enquiring friends. Believe me, dear Mr Smith, sincerely yours,

W. Wiggs


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