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Remembered Today:

Private J.C CALEY letters home


artyali

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Below, are a series of letters that my Gt Uncle sent home from the army to his parents, from his time with the 1/2 London Rifle Regiment Royal Fusiliers.....CCoy. They begin from Rifle training at Ipswich, prior to going to France. He was a young man, with no previous service history, enlisting with the territorials at the age of 16 (he lied about his birth date)

Ipswich 20/8/15

Dear Mother,

So sorry i did not write before but i received you letter and p/o on Monday last. It was delivered to to the orderly room at Bury St Edmunds and then to me from there. We have been on musketry this week and i have just snathced time to write this letter. We are practicing hard at it. I hear that a considerable amount of damge was done at London/Liverpool St way..is it true? I have a comfortable billet with a sargeant of the transport. We took 13 hours to march to Ipswich, 7and a half hours to march to Stwomarket, a distance of 14 miles from Bury. Then 5 and a half hours from Stowmarket to Ipswich (12 miles) and we were not sorry when we got our billets. Well now must close Your loving Son Cyril.

Kisses for Ciddle ( my grandad was 4 at the time).

P.S We have been told we are going as a brigade (4 Battalion or 16 Companies, or 64 platoons) to France in less time than we think. We are going to Felixstowe (12 miles east) on the big range to finish off. A draught went on the 18th to Southampton with 48 hours leave only. We have to sit up half the night, in case of a Zepp losing itself and straying over here. There was a big raid at Woodbridge a day or two ago.

37 Alan Rd,

Ipswich October 2nd 1915

My dearest Mother and Dada,

thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful letter and the sixpenny p/o. So sorry to hear that dad is out of work. Hope he gets work before me. About a fortnight ago a bill came through the Brigade Officer and it was to this effect "War Office" any man whose trade in civil life was one of the following, to give his name in to the Orderly Room at once....Electrical Instrument maker .... etc etc so iput in as an electrical instrument maker as an apprentcie and condenser repairer and constructer. This morning orders were read out about it. They amounted to every soldier (illegible) to make munitions was an acting civillian until he was called to the colours so i expect I shall be home soon,

With Great Hopes,

your loving son,

Cyril

Cyril 11/4/16

Dear Mother and Dada,

am in next draught for France (to go Friday).

Please send no letters until i wirte next. We were medically examined today.

Well, I will write as soon as possible, Your loving Son Cyril

P/S May get a 48 hours from Southampton so live in hopes.

More to follow........

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Continued.....from last post.

YMCA 'ON ACTIVE SERVICE WITH THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE'

Reply to Pte J.C. CALEY 3628 2nd London Regt No1 Territorial Base, Rouen, France.

Dearest Mother and Dada,

Have arrived here safely, of course cannot say more than 'somewhere' in France. Rather muddy country here. Rather difficult to understand french language and money...Francs, Centimes and Sous. We are under canvas also water. Have to be so very careful what we write, its so difficult to write a letter. You can drop me a shilling if you can this week or next as do not know how much we get but please register the letter or it will go west. May only write two letters per week now owing to hard work of censoring. Get cigarettes free, issued to us per week 24 +quarter tobacco.

Well, must close,

Your loving son Cyril

love and kisses to chrissie and all.

P.S. Glad to receive letters from all in Blackheath but cannot promise to answer all at once.

Same Address, Rouen April 30th 1916

Dear Dada,

Thanks so much for Cassells Ref books and p/o. We are having very good weather here, but it is beastly hot between the hours of 9am and 3.30pm. We are expecting to go to the firing line very shortly. We are more or less confined to camp and have to get a pass to go to Rouen town. Got paid 5 Francs which equals one Dollar (4shillings and 2pence in our money). It is a blue note Banque De France (Cinq Francs). A franc is worth about 9and a half d or 10d here and instead of saying one penny article, you say 'un vingt' article which is a Centime.

Well we get very peculiar rations, Bread, Bacon Bully and tea, or instead of Bully Marconichie a tinned stew now manufatured by Bruce and Lazenby's, very good when hot (Breakfast).

Dinner, Marconichie, Curry, Bully or Boiled Beef and biscuits potatoes etc. Tea is Bread, Cheese and dates. Butter or Margarine is a very rare article it is possible to buy a pound for 3Francs.

Well will write to Winnie and others later, must close now,

Love to all,

Cyril.

P.S Going to firing line today, please delay letter until i write again.

Dearest Mother and Dada, (no date...presumably at firing line)

I received your first letter dated 15/4/16? or near that. Please write "1/2ND" more plainly as it went to the 1/1 battallion. Well i have received no more letters or any parcels yet but expect them any time as the post is very doubtful except for registered letters. We saw an airman loop the loop as plainly as if you saw it at Hendon - it was a ripping entertainment for the boys. We have a concert party here called 'The Bow Bells' they play under the style of the Fizzies and are ok. Well if my parcel has not been sent please let contents be :- Handkerchief, Flea Powder, pencil and writing paper and a slab of chocolate. Not tasty, just plain eating choco and a book of short stories if you please (sil vous plait) and please despatch as soon as possible as may not get it otherwise

Well now must close,

Love and kisses to Chrissie and Bert, Dada and yourself,

Your ever loving son

Cyril.

26th May 1916

Dearest Mother,

Received parcel containing vest, handkerchiefs etc. Thankyou so much for all, We have shifted further up the line and am staying at a farm, quite a nice open air building, walls out and roof very nearly past calling so we cannot get full rations here owing to the shelling. Still same address. Please excuse short letter, will send longer one later,

love to all,

Your affectionate son,

Cyril

10th of June 1916

Dearest dada and mother,

Thanks so much for the kind letter you sent and i will now explain what parcels i have had. I wrote after each one came so i cnnot understand why my letters have not reached you. I received your parcel dated the 26th May. The contents of which were 1 vest, 1 tin of keatings, tin of parastick, 1tin of paste (veal or ham) two tablets of green soap, i think that is all it contained. Enclosed is the label off the paper. I may have mixed the dates up but if so, the label is off the last parcel I received which contained 1lb butter, one loaf, 2 cakes, one plain and one gingerbread, 3 bars of butterscotch from Bert, 7 bars of chocolate, one veal loaf which was extra and on or two other things i cannot think of. I have only received two parcels but your letter seems to say that a third should be on its way or have reached me.

Sorry to hear about the naval disaster. Well now for the news, on the 3rd of June the Queen Victoria Rifles were relieved from the firing line by the 2nd Londons (us) DCoy on the left, on their left the Leicesters, on the right B.Coy, on their right the London Scottish. BCoy was very unlucky having about 20 or so wounded and 7 killed. DCoy had 2 wounded on the 6th and we CCoy relieved DCoy and ACoy on the first night no10 platoon had to go out as a covering party while the bombers did trench guard one hour on and two off. Quite easy, and we slept the next day, that night and then the following day! I , with the bombers was on listening post and we had to look and listen for German patrols etc over a dug out top and out of a small trench. We were not 50 yards from the German lines on the third night and day. We then had to go into an advanced line and i was on listening post from 10.30 till 1.30 in the pouring rain laying down and my mates were thinking i had been put(?) out of mess when the machine gun fired just over my back and the bullets fell not 6 inches away from my left side. Well i am alright now so do not worry.

'Blighty' is a derivation from the Indian Bilatee (home) so Tommy calls England (his home) "Blighty".

Tell Chrissie, i hope he enjoys himself on the free ferry ( we think Cyril means the woolwich ferry as my grandad remembers the trip). Well now i must close as i am on night digging and must get a sleep in. When you send the next parcel, please send a bar of chocolate, in fact you can do so everytime as it is always appreciated and if you just send a few things...do not spend too much at once because i do not need a lot. Just a tip, please change the "coco made with milk" to "Cafe au lait"

Well now, must close,

Your ever loving son Cyril

I have typed the letter as it is written so appologies for grammar.

Cyril died on the 1st of July 1916 at Gommecourt aged just 18. We are still trying to find out as much as we can about his experiences, and so if anyone can help at all with any more information about CCoy, 10 Platoon 2nd London Reg Royal Fusiliers, then it will be greatfully received.

Thanks for reading the letters..........they will never be forgotten.

Alison Fraser

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Below, are a series of letters that my Gt Uncle sent home from the army to his parents, from his time with the 1/2 London Rifle Regiment Royal Fusiliers.....CCoy. They begin from Rifle training at Ipswich, prior to going to France. He was a young man, with no previous service history, enlisting with the territorials at the age of 16 (he lied about his birth date)

Ipswich 20/8/15

Dear Mother,

So sorry i did not write before but i received you letter and p/o on Monday last. It was delivered to to the orderly room at Bury St Edmunds and then to me from there. We have been on musketry this week and i have just snathced time to write this letter. We are practicing hard at it. I hear that a considerable amount of damge was done at London/Liverpool St way..is it true? I have a comfortable billet with a sargeant of the transport. We took 13 hours to march to Ipswich, 7and a half hours to march to Stwomarket, a distance of 14 miles from Bury. Then 5 and a half hours from Stowmarket to Ipswich (12 miles) and we were not sorry when we got our billets. Well now must close Your loving Son Cyril.

Kisses for Ciddle ( my grandad was 4 at the time).

P.S We have been told we are going as a brigade (4 Battalion or 16 Companies, or 64 platoons) to France in less time than we think. We are going to Felixstowe (12 miles east) on the big range to finish off. A draught went on the 18th to Southampton with 48 hours leave only. We have to sit up half the night, in case of a Zepp losing itself and straying over here. There was a big raid at Woodbridge a day or two ago.

37 Alan Rd,

Ipswich October 2nd 1915

My dearest Mother and Dada,

thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful letter and the sixpenny p/o. So sorry to hear that dad is out of work. Hope he gets work before me. About a fortnight ago a bill came through the Brigade Officer and it was to this effect "War Office" any man whose trade in civil life was one of the following, to give his name in to the Orderly Room at once....Electrical Instrument maker .... etc etc so iput in as an electrical instrument maker as an apprentcie and condenser repairer and constructer. This morning orders were read out about it. They amounted to every soldier (illegible) to make munitions was an acting civillian until he was called to the colours so i expect I shall be home soon,

With Great Hopes,

your loving son,

Cyril

Cyril 11/4/16

Dear Mother and Dada,

am in next draught for France (to go Friday).

Please send no letters until i wirte next. We were medically examined today.

Well, I will write as soon as possible, Your loving Son Cyril

P/S May get a 48 hours from Southampton so live in hopes.

More to follow........

why havent the rest of the letters ive typed come up?

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