Training: ‘We are now fully equipped’

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

Nicholas Boyce, 9 November 1915, Longmoor Camp, England. Born: 21 October 1879, Joined GWR: 10 February 1896, Regiment: Railway Troop, Royal Engineers, Regiment number: 138015, Rank: Sapper, Retired: October 1939


Dear Lack,

Many thanks for the photographs received. We all think they are good and on Saturday the six of us had out photo taken here in a similar position– in khaki. The two pictures together should make a lasting memento.

We have had little spare time since we have been training here. Having been through company drill mixed with route marches, physical drill, semaphore, knot tying and frog, long jumping etc. Some of our men were able to go to town on Saturday… but I myself with a few others have been under orders for overseas service now waiting to proceed, so popping up town seems out of the question for us. We are numbered in alphabetical order, and in the order we are sent out. We are now fully equipped. I enclose … postage for the photographs. If you are printing any more you might save me one as I am afraid I have spoilt mine, it got bent in my overcoat pocket on Saturday. Please remember me to all at the office…

N. Boyce

Return to Letters from the First World War, part one