For Christmas Day, I am sharing one of the letters that Wilfrid Edwards, serving with the 5th Platoon, B company, 1st Gloucesters, sent to Lillian Wiggall in Wolverhampton in December 1916. Among other things, he asks what pantomime is showing at the Grand Theatre this year, and talks of singing carols at her back door. This letter gives an indication of what life was like for some of the men serving overseas during the Christmas period.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Just a few lines to let you no that I received your cards and papers quite safe. It was a good joke, the youngster with the old chap. The other card was very good. Thanks very much for your kind thought. What sort of weather are you having in Blighty. I see by the papers you are having heavy snow in parts of the country. We are having it very wet and cold out here. I shall be glad when it is over. We shall be in the trenches by the time you receive this. I dont no what you would say if you were to see me like I am dressed now. We do not look like soldiers, look more like rag time rag pickers. Well Dear Lill you will soon have christmas now on you. I wish I could sing carols at you [sic] back door. I would wake all the people up for miles around All Saints road. Dear Lill look here as I have said before its two [sic] good of you to trouble about me so much. You say you are sending me another parcel. My Dear Lill Will you thank all at home for what they are doing. Give them my best wishes for Christmas, I wished I could send a christmas card or two but there is no shops here, not a house in sight, only what has been blown down. I say Lill, what is the Panto at the grand this time. I used to like to go to the Alex at brum, it’s a real panto out here, I can assure you. Don’t be surprised to see me at your back door one of these days. We get good money out here when we are out of the trenches but you cannot buy what you like, only cigs chocolate and burscuits [sic] so you can tell. My Dear Lill if I should never come back you will know that I think of than any Girl I have ever met. My message is of Love to you. I wait the dove an answere [sic] from you. Dear Lill now doubt you will think me very forward but I cannot help putting it down. Dear Lill do you ever come accross [sic] any Glosters on your travels. Well Lill I think I must now draw to a close thanking you very much for your kindness So Good Night and God Bless you With best Love