Hugh S. Calverley - A Man at War...
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WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley
WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley Details
Letter – I am orderly dog today – February 4, 1915 White City 12th Essex

Dear Mum

I am orderly dog today. I have to inspect dinner rations, look up the guard and the fire picquet. This is the first day since the last time I wrote, that I have had any time. We have to get up at a quarter to six to get breakfast and fall in our entrenching party. We get back at half past five or later, get dinner, and go to bed, very sleepy. They dig the trench and then put traverses and revet it with sods, a wet muddy job. Your boots look like this covered with Essex clay, yellow ochre.

Dad is … with the Indian Cavalry. He is responsible for communications between the Divisional Headquarters and the 3 Brigade headquarters, also he has to keep in touch with the supply columns etc. Very responsible job. They use field telephones for everything, do everything except sign in fact.

The line is holding on, everlasting fight against the floods and flooded trenches. Continuous sapping and counter mining, shelling every day and all day at the roads and railways behind, and at any other marks that crop up, especially at the other side’s guns. Ideal country for more than things.

In Canada you have not entered into this business as they have here. No dances or anything of that sort, no lights in London, troops everywhere, in khaki and out of it, tin boxes for everything. The women are knitting and looking after the wounded, and the soldiers’ wives have given up all their time for it.

Cook and I have sworn that if we are transferred out of the 12th to the 13th or 14th or 15th we will resign up and get out as privates with the 1st Essex. So I hope we stick with the 12th. There are dozens too many subs now. Half have to get out. 16 Platoon is mostly on fire picket at present; 40 men and N. C. O. out of each battalion, sitting round waiting for the White City to catch fire.

I saw Godfrey by chance the day before yesterday, and Mrs. G. She is very pretty, rather like Evelyn Ouless, only smaller and not such a long face. Godfrey is the Divisional Signally Officer to the 1st Division . Everything is quiet, no excitement or hustle. I must look at teas now “Any complaints” the orderly Serg. says. Perhaps there are, and you have to look at the plates and the food, and chase the cooks or the caterers.

Your loving Hugh

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