Saturday, 24 January 2015

Letters to Linslade

Sunday 24th January 1915:  Private Vivian Dixon of the Seaforth Highlanders has written home to his parents at Linslade. He says: 
You’ll be surprised to hear that our rest has been cut short and we are in it again. When you’ll receive this I can’t say as I don’t suppose letters will be collected for some time, but today we are resting after two days’ march covering about 25 miles, and we are in roughly the same place as we were before only further on. The village is in ruins. The Church is bullet riddled and almost all the houses also. Again I have bad news to relate – Archie now in hospital with something wrong with his knee. Thus we are two now, but fortunately we have struck luck for once. We are in a mineral house in a room on the second floor in which are three bedsteads with spring mattresses. We have blocked up the windows and are more or less comfortable. It’s a great luxury to have a bed, you can guess.
We left at about 3.30 on the 14th and marched until ten that night, and it was just my luck to receive your parcel about half an hour before. We ate some – the cakes and sweets – and I strung the rest at the back of my pack. After marching for about an hour this fell off and I struggled on for about another mile and we passed through a town. I was almost dead and feeling queer, scarcely able to drag one foot after another, so seeing another kiltie by the side of the road I gave the packing to him as I couldn’t carry it longer. You can guess what I must have felt like giving away the sweetmeat I’d wanted so much but I was feeling too awful for words. At the rest halt I reported myself sick to our officer who carried my rifle for me and got permission for my pack and equipment to go on a gun carriage, so I followed on but kept up and arrived all right, slept all night without waking. In the morning I felt better and did the rest of the march in full marching order. By jove, to say ‘the fair fields of France.’ That’s a bit thick! I should like you to see this village – its awful. Mud in its prime condition, I can assure you.
Lance Corporal Brazier  of the 2nd Division of the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry has written home to 30 Wing Road, Linslade, to say he has now been in France for five months and is still happy and  in the best of health.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer and Linslade Gazette, 26 January 1915

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