S C Humphrey, Royal Navy HMS Foxhound

This is to the inhabitants of Buckden, thanking them one and all for their kindness shown to me since this terrible war has been going on, and I am sure I appreciate the present sent to me by Mr GW Grant, Mr A Wallace, also Mrs Craft, very much indeed, and I only hope but I may be spared to come home and thank then in person. May I also thank those kind friends who have written so many times, asking how I am getting on, and what I am doing, for I can assure you to hear from anyone at home letting me know just what is going on, seems to fill my heart with joy, for I love to hear all the news of the village. But there’s one thing lacking I am sorry to say, and that is, what is the matter with some of my schoolmates, why aren’t they joining the army? Come along, boys, only 48 of us in Buckden? Surely I had more schoolmates than that! Don’t forget there are at present 3 Germans to every 1 Englishman, and everyone who joins now helps to bring this war to a speedy and victorious end. Just look how nice it will be afterwards for us all to meet and chat of where we have been and what we have done. Don’t let me come home and say Hello Harry ! Hello George! What, haven’t had a shot at a German?” You won’t half feel ashamed of yourself. I can truly say there is no one more happy than I am to know I am fighting for our King and Country, trying hard to keep the old flag, the Union Jack, still flying over our heads. Think of our women and children who are doing their best at home for us. Now come on boys don’t be downhearted, there’s a recruiting office at St Neots, join today, and here’s to all those who do join now, jolly good luck and safe return – Now I must close my letter trusting to see better news in my paper the St Neots Advertiser the next copy I get from home. Once again thanking all my friends for their kindness.

Private Walter Gale, Army Cyclist

I am getting on much better and feel much better in myself. I think I must have got some gas as I was so sick when I got down here and could eat nothing for four days. The Germans are using it in their shells. I was Brigade orderly and had been up to the trenches twice before I was hit. Of course I was wearing a pack over my mouth, but it was only one that I had made myself. The Brigade Headquarters was only about 150 yards from the trenches, it being what was left of an old farm house. The Germans must have known it was being used for something for they were shelling it the whole of the time and it was there that I received my souvenir. Well I was very lucky, for from the size of the piece of shell, it was high explosive, it looks as if it must have killed me. I have got the piece and will try and send it home, as I am not expecting to get home now. My wound is going on all right. Well, I don’t see how anyone would have know before you at home that U was wounded, as I was hit on Sunday the 9th, and wrote you first. There was a small parcel for me yesterday and the Corporal brought the mails up and left it in his hut, but someone had more right to it than I, so he pinched it, and I don’t know who it was from. Parcels with money should be registered. It is a great mistake to write “Cigarettes” or “Chocolate” on a parcel as they are often taken out when they reach this end. I don’t know what became of the other parcel you sent. We are in huts here, four in each hut, they are very nice too. Please remember me to all friends at home.