Wwi British Letters. 10th Royal Fusiliers. Killed In Action In France In 1918.
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Wwi British Letters. 10th Royal Fusiliers. Killed In Action In France In 1918.:
Thisisa very scarce grouping of two long and interesting original First World War letters, written by a British soldierwho was killed in action a short time later, in October 1918.There is excellent content in these letters, both of which were written only weeks before this soldier was killed.
In addition to the two original letters written by this soldier there are two original documents. One is an official document sent to this soldier's widow in early 1919. This document was issued by the Infantry Record Office in London and accompanied this soldier's identity disk, which was sent to his widow.
The second original document isthe letter from Buckingham Palace whichaccompanied the bronze memorial plaque sent to this soldier's widow.
The letters written by this soldier are long and interesting. They were written in France on the 22nd and 25th of September, 1918. This soldier was killed in action on the 8th of October, 1918.
***Theseexcellent originalletters were writtenby 86271 Private Frederick G. Sammons of the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. The letters were written to his wife Nellie, who lived in Barnsbury, in north London. Private Sammons was killed in action on the 8th of October, 1918.
Frederick and Nellie Sammons had a young son, Frederick Jr.
There isexcellent content in these letters, very interesting and highly emotional.The September 22nd letter is 3 pages long. There is a moving segment in which Private Sammons advises his wife not to become overly optimistic that the war would soon be over:
"I notice in your letters how so much you seem to be dwelling on it being over very soon. I don't want you to think too much about it at all. It will only seem to drag on all the more. Just try to get as much pleasure out of life as you can and trust that things will in haste right themselves."
Private Sammons was in a Lewis machine gun section. He explains that there was a machine gun section in each platoon of each company, and that this was not the same thing as being in the Machine Gun Corps. He adds that hehad received very little trainingas a Lewis gunner:
"About the Lewis gun. There is a Lewis gun section in each platoon of each company, and in each company there are four platoons. Every regiment I suppose, as well as the R. Fus. are the same. I am in the Lewis Gun section of 3 Platoon of A Company. I reckon this will read all German to you. The Machine Gun Corps is a corps of it's own. Do you now understand? I am afraid I am not efficient on the Lewis gun, as I have had very little training, and as you say it takes I think months to pass out and know all you should about it."
Private Sammons was relieved that his wife had not recently experienced any German air raids at their home in London. He was worried about high food prices in England, and shortages, and hoped that his family was getting enough to eat:
"Glad to hear you have had no raids... Sorry to hear about food prices, but hope you are having sufficient to eat. It must be a great struggle I know."
Sammons explains that even while out of the trenchesfor a period of rest the men received very little rest, because they were required to keep their brass polished and equipment clean. Still, it was a welcome relief from the trenches:
"We are now expected to keep ourselves clean, equipment and buttons fully polished, so it is a grand change from continually waddling, sleeping, and eating in mud. It is marvellous what one can get used to. We shall be on the move again soon."
Sammons comments on recent developments in the war.Because of the approach of the winter months he did not expect much moreprogress to be madein 1918:
"Glad to hear the war news is still very good, and hope it will continue. Am afraid it will not keep on much more this year, as the winter is fast approaching."
The letter written on the 25th of September is 4 pages long. Sammons remarks that the men had been discussing their recent experiences in battle against the Germans. He felt that some of themtended to exaggerate when discussing the recent fighting:
"The boys do nothing else but talk about 'Jerry' and the 'to do' we had with him up the front line last week.
I listen to their experiences and wonder, for I had nothing like the time they seem to have had, although I was there at the very same place. But then, most of them are boys, and that explains all."
Sammons explains that the discipline was very strict when the men were out of the trenches. The men were expected to drill, and to keep their equipment clean:
"Today we had a bath and change of underclothes, which I can assure you came in very acceptable, and after that some more form fours and rifle drill. They are very strict about being clean and bright, so much so that it is very trying to one when water is scarce and blacking and brushes are unpurchasable.
... Hope the war news is still cheering you up, and perhaps it will not be so long after all... 'Jerry' at the present is certainly not on top."
Private Frederick Sammons was killed in action less than two weeks later.
An emotionalgrouping of original First World War British letters, written by a soldier who was killed in actioninFrance in 1918.
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