Hugh S. Calverley - A Man at War...
The Promised Lands
WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley
WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley Details
Letter – The first page is lost – December 8 & 9, 1914

Dear Mum
The first page is lost.

I went for a lovely walk on Sunday, out at 4 a m and going across the Downs by moonlight, finding my way across country by the map and Pole Star I got into the valley just as the light started. The valley looked like the Promised Land from the bare downs, to full of trees and quiet fields. Sunrise started as maroon, ended up as flaming pink sky, pink from one end of the sky to the other and reflected back and back. It was hard going across the fields and hedges. I came across a snake on the way and kept out of her way. I came across a farmhouse, one the old manor houses I think, and hit Potters Wick, and hearing a bell, hustled on and came through an old village and landed just in time into church.

Walked on to Devizes, (2 miles), had a bath, breakfast and went to 11 o’clock. The service was as lovely as Sunday before last. In the afternoon I went to Devize’s museum and had a fine time looking at the Barrow history: daggers, beads, incense pots and irons, bones, combs, bodkins, also cathedral tiles, Roman coins, and relict Saxon remains. A real holiday. There was a nice old gramma with her gran kid running round and tagging round the museum. She had four sons in the service: 2 in India, one on the sea, and one at the front. She didn’t worry she was certain they were being taken good care of. I came back through the market Carrington by footpath and went back by road through W. Downs S. and back in the pitch dark, wind and rain. I stopped at a cottage and talked to an old man who had some nice candlesticks. He said the holes in the Downs were old chalk pits. Shells had been found and sent to the museum. The barrows left by old Nick on a muddy day. Spoof! Spoof! Left, Right, out shot the Barrows.

I got back at 8.30 and fought with Ken most of the night over the blankets. We ended up with one each and the other stole ours while were fighting. Luckily it was a warm night. 28 miles is a good days walk and I fell asleep while fighting like a good soldier and the robin, (Ken), covered me up.

I picked a bit in the ditch near our camp and found some pottery (old cook pots) all black. We shifted camp today into dry ground, quite a job, pitching and unpitching tents. Our grub and kit bags. I took some pics of it and got some of myself taken with heavy marching order and rifle, bayonet and flag.

Your loving Hugh

PS the papers came through and I go to be a scout as soon as they get the papers fixed here. They are kidding the life out of me here in the tent. They found out! Yours Hugh
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