GWL 25th March 1915

Your letters of the 21st and 22nd have come.  Awfully wet again.  The hut does not leak much, which is something to be thankful for indeed.  Last night we sang, why I cannot think; perhaps like Tommy A we were all feeling sentimental and it certainly was raining horribly hard. The Colonel did not like it!  We started with the”Preacher” for Major Corner’s benefit! Several deputations were sent from the Regimental HQ Tent to know if it would soon be over, but they had no effect.  I think people, who have the rough time of it, when we are in front, should be allowed a little latitude when we get back; don’t you?……. This afternoon I am going to make a desperate effort to have a bath.  The shave was accomplished yesterday and your husband looks a little less piratical than he did.  So they censored one of my letters did they?  They do open a certain number, I know, but apparently, they have escaped so far……..”

Tommy A or Tommy Atkins had become a familiar term referring to the common soldier.  The terms origins go back to the Battle of Boxtel in 1794.  The story goes that the Duke of Wellington came across a soldier dying in the mud, Private Thomas Atkins, who is alleged to have said just before he died “Don’t worry,Sir, all in a day’s work”.

{next post 26th March}

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