GWL 17th July 1915

So you are now at Buxton, where the people do cures, don’t they?  Thank you so much for all the letters & the two postcards, they all came in a bunch.

Fritz bombed us with some vigour yesterday.  Big things like sausages.  You could see them coming.  I hope he does not do it again, because it makes an awful noise.  The exact spot at which the missile will fall is rather hard to determine.  I am not quite sure which I hate most, those things or the shells.  I think the War Loan Scheme an excellent one.  As you say we must be very careful not to lose the war.  The trench has just flooded with red hats.  Two generals and skits of small fry – caught Master having tiffin in shirt sleeves and a pair of waders!  Just had time to sling on a coat and an old scarf – Sallied forth looking an awful pirate.”

The War Loan referred to was probably the second War Loan issued in June 1915 by the UK Government when £901million was raised at an interest rate of 4.5%.  Elsewhere the Treaty of Alliance was signed in Sofia between Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and Turkey.  Under the Treaty Albania was ceded to Bulgaria in return for Bulgaria participating in the war.

{next post 19th July 1915}

GWL 14th July 1915

A somewhat cloudy and overcast day, after a somewhat disturbed night owing to energetic diggers repairing my dugout, while I endeavoured to sleep.  Fritz is most perplexing.  He is working like the devil at something, but what exactly none of us can make out.  The gallant Peter went on his merry way this morning to attain the gentle art of throwing things explosive.  Heaven protect the child.”

On 13 July the Great Austro-German offensive began with advance towards Warsaw and retreat of the Russian forces and evacuation of the Polish civilian population eastwards.

{next post 17th July} 

GWL 12th July 1915

Absolutely not a word of news.  We had a tremendous dinner party last night.   The show of the evening was to see Clarence Gardner “strafe-ing” various people.  Chiefly the divisional veterinary officer.

Your letter from Dunchurch has just arrived and two books.  Thank you so much.  …………Fritz seems to have got his tail up about something.  I don’t know if he is going to do anything foolish.  I most sincerely hope not.  To-night we go up again.  I suppose something has got to happen to all those 2000 trains that crossed the Rhine & the sooner we get rid of the blighters the better I think, don’t you?  I do wish there was a little news, but there is not.”

{next post 14th July}

GWL 11th July 1915

So glad your eye is better.  Yes, I should love to be coming too, but I have rather an important engagement in France!  Oh many fly killers have arrived.  I think they must have been sent by Dad – They are not very efficient against flies, but are fine things when a wasp comes along.  Also for annoying your friends there is nothing like them.

Peter and I are dining at the Set Barbe to-night; the first time we have hit it off.  Very windy and dull to-day.  This morning, makee pray.  Padre of the roaring lion type.  Tells most impossible stories, which of course the men don’t believe.  We caught him the other day and told him he really ought to refrain from telling obvious untruths in his sermons.  He got quite annoyed and insisted that it was quite possible for a man to be bitten by a snake through a leather gaiter, when going full gallop on a horse!  Some snake — We go up again tomorrow.  I hope the rain will keep off as everything gets so slippery – Especially the wooden floorboards.”

{next post 12th July}

GWL 10th July 1915

No news again except that Fritz if anything is a little more cool than formerly.  In fact there was considerable coolness the other night up bold Peter’s way.  The parcel has arrived.  Thank you all so much.  The birthday cake will be awaited with tremendous excitement.  Looks rather like rain again to-day, blowing a bit too.  Dined last night at the Ste Barbe.  They really give you an awfully nice dinner.  Marie Louise very charming also.  A shell burst within 25 yards of the good lady the other day.”

{next post 11th July}

GWL 7th July 1915

So the great event is out.  I see it in the Morning Post of the 6th.  Yesterday was a pig of a day.  It rained hard about 10 at night and we had rather a heavy thunderstorm at the same time.  Fritz rather got the wind up last night.  He started bombing and rifle grinding the company on my right.  Not much damage though.  He has got a lot of searchlights opposite us and seems to be doing a good deal of work one way and another.  What he is up to is not quite obvious.  A Werry good cake that last one – Thank you so much for all the things you send me.”

It’s not clear what the “great event” was.

{next post 10th July}

GWL 5th July 1915

Rather weary.  Not much sleep for the last six days and a good deal of work.  Also it is very hot and not conducive to sleep!  Your birthday was heavenly and Otto did not make himself at all objectionable.  Did you have a happy day?

Our bold Peter pursues the even tenor of his way and goeth forth at night exploring.  He was much impressed by the sight of his first dead German.  The flies are getting horrid.  For the last day or so I have been labouring at a very fine trench and to-day it was completed – Last night, alas, a mighty bridge, which was part of the scheme, got tired and collapsed.  We, very wrathful, built the devil up again.”

{next post 7th July}

The First World War seen through the letters of George Power