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Remembered Today:

Could soldiers in different regiments write to each other?


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Louise Cann

Can you help me.  Two of my great uncles, Edward James Cann and Herbert James Cann had a photo taken in France in 1918. However Edward James was in the Field Artillary Brigade (Australia), having enlisted in Australia in 1914 and his brother Herbert George was in the Army Service Corps.  He enlisted in 1914, I think into the Wessex Ambulance Corps.  This is a photo of them both.  On the reverse it says"To George and Bess from your loving brothers Ted and Her.  France 1918". George and Bess were my paternal grandparents.  Any ideas please?  

Scan 9.jpeg

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Yes, soldiers could write to each other using the Army Postal Service network of field post offices.  The service provided was extraordinarily efficient and reliable and involved both letters and parcels. There’s lots of information about this online, here are just a few sources:

 

1. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/magazine-25934407

 

2.  https://www.postalmuseum.org/collections/ww1/

 

3.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_British_Army_postal_service

 

 

1C5817DE-3A5F-4752-A118-3D7D7FEE9A42.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 hour ago, Louise Cann said:

Thank you so much.  That solved that.

 

I’m glad to help Louise.  Each unit had its own address that involved a numbering system (post code) exclusive to the Army (on land) and HM Ships (for those at sea).  A similar system still exists, although it’s now common to all three services.  Good luck with your research.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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two brothers in different regiments,both in the railway wood area,one asked permission from his officer if he could visit his brother in the trenches,permission was granted,2nd brother heard his name called out and both met briefly ,I know this is true as I read a personal letter from a soldier I researched.

I dont know if its true BUT at Plug street memorial there are two brothers graves,so the story goes one visited the other fritz shelled or TM the area both killed in the same explosion true or not I do not know

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29 minutes ago, BIFFO said:

two brothers in different regiments,both in the railway wood area,one asked permission from his officer if he could visit his brother in the trenches,permission was granted,2nd brother heard his name called out and both met briefly ,I know this is true as I read a personal letter from a soldier I researched.

I dont know if its true BUT at Plug street memorial there are two brothers graves,so the story goes one visited the other fritz shelled or TM the area both killed in the same explosion true or not I do not know

It seems very likely to be true.  Like you I’ve read quite a number of accounts mentioning both, siblings, and fathers and sons meeting up, sometimes in the line, but usually in a rear, or rest area.  It appears to have been easier for officers of course, but many units seem to have been remarkably accommodating in facilitating the meeting up of family members within the bounds of operational priorities.

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Louise Cann

Thank you for your replies.  Much appreciated.  They both survived the war, luckily.  Ted returned to Australia and Herb to Plymouth where he got married the year after.

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A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy

 

On 23/02/2021 at 14:23, FROGSMILE said:

It seems very likely to be true.  Like you I’ve read quite a number of accounts mentioning both, siblings, and fathers and sons meeting up, sometimes in the line, but usually in a rear, or rest area.  It appears to have been easier for officers of course, but many units seem to have been remarkably accommodating in facilitating the meeting up of family members within the bounds of operational priorities.

 

When I first read my grandfather's diaries I was astounded that, having arrived at Watou-St-Jean with the 1/5th LF (en route for the Ypres Salient) at 4.00am on 24 August 1917, he was able to obtain permission to cycle to St Omer to see his brother, George, then with the 3/5th LF, on Sunday 26 August. What amazed me was that a message from his brother to say where he was, and how long he would be there, had managed to reach my grandfather's unit, which was on the move, in time for him to make arrangements to visit his brother on the Sunday. He cycled the 25 miles to St Omer over cobbled roads against a strong wind on a Signaller's bicycle ("heavy things at the best"), arriving at 2.45pm. He was able to spend the afternoon and early evening with his brother, then at 7.30pm they were luckily able to get a lift back with the chaplain of George's unit, who happened to have a small car (the bicycle was strapped on to the side). They got lost, and my grandad arrived back at Watou-St-Jean at 5.30am "very tired. But it had been well worth iI knew we were likely to be in a show any day, and for that reason I specially wanted to see George."

Edited by A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy
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8 minutes ago, A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy said:

Whe

 

When I first read my grandfather's diaries I was astounded that, having arrived at Watou-St-Jean with the 1/5th LF (en route for the Ypres Salient) at 4.00am on 24 August 1917, he was able to obtain permission to cycle to St Omer to see his brother, George, then with the 3/5th LF, on Sunday 26 August. What amazed me was that a message from his brother to say where he was, and how long he would be there, had managed to reach my grandfather's unit, which was on the move, in time for him to make arrangements to visit his brother on the Sunday. He cycled the 25 miles to St Omer over cobbled roads against a strong wind on a Signaller's bicycle ("heavy things at the best"), arriving at 2.45pm. He was able to spend the afternoon and early evening with his brother, then at 7.30pm they were luckily able to get a lift back with the chaplain of George's unit, who happened to have a small car (the bicycle was strapped on to the side). They got lost, and my grandad arrived back at Watou-St-Jean at 5.30am "very tired. But it had been well worth iI knew we were likely to be in a show any day, and for that reason I specially wanted to see George."

An amazing story and typical of the types of scenario I was referring to.  Thank you for posting.

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A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy
On 27/02/2021 at 14:15, FROGSMILE said:

Thank you for posting.

You are welcome. I sometimes wonder whether people may get rather fed up of me quoting from my grandad's diaries, but it is obviously what I know best. I try to stick with what is relevant and interesting, but I appreciate that what may be of interest to me as my grandfather's granddaughter may not be quite so interesting to others!

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4 minutes ago, A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy said:

You are welcome. I sometimes wonder whether people may get rather fed up of me quoting from my grandad's diaries, but it is obviously what I know best. I try to stick with what is relevant and interesting, but I appreciate that what may be of interest to me as my grandfather's granddaughter may not be quite so interesting to others!

I have always found your posts to be relevant to the matter concerned in the thread where you post them.  I hope that you will continue to post as you see fit.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Louise Cann
2 hours ago, A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy said:

You are welcome. I sometimes wonder whether people may get rather fed up of me quoting from my grandad's diaries, but it is obviously what I know best. I try to stick with what is relevant and interesting, but I appreciate that what may be of interest to me as my grandfather's granddaughter may not be quite so interesting to others!

Not at all.  It is all so fascinating isn’t it.  But what those men went through.  Dreadful.

 

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