Saturday, 23 May 2015

Family Matters

Ernest Woodward with his family, 1926-7 [Z681/56]

Sunday 23rd May 1915:  Miss Margaret Woodward of Pavenham has received a letter from her brother Ernest, who is serving in France with the Northumberland Fusiliers. Ernest joined the 3rd Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment as a band boy at the age of 14 in 1900, transferring within a few months to the current Regiment. It seems there has been some family difficulty between Ernest and his sisters over the allotment from his pay which Ernest himself does not understand. He assures his sister he is not “making a fool of her” and asks that she will “give me some information and allow me to speak, please write me in answer to this letter and tell me all”.

Ernest enquires after the health of their mother, who has been ill, and says rather bluntly “I don’t hear much about your young man now. What has become of him? Deserted you or what?” It seems unlikely this comment will bring about much improvement his sister’s attitude to him! He is optimistic about the war, saying: “We are still having beautiful weather out here, and the trees etc. are looking beautiful. It’s just like being in the beautiful country at home, only for the wickedness of the war. I think it will soon finish now. The gas is about our worst enemy now, and still that cannot beat us”.

Source: Papers of the Woodward Family of Kempston  [Z681/26] 

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