War Letters

Letters from the First World War

Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Oct. 30, 1917 France

This letter from Clifford’s friend ironically speaks of Clifford’s watch which would have been the one that his brother James gave him to keep just before he was killed. Dear Mrs. Bowes, I am sorry to inform you of your son Clifford’s death which occurred a few days ago. He was killed in action. As Cliff and I have been on intimate terms for some time, I thought it my duty to write to you. He was greatly liked by all his comrades and we were greatly grieved at his death. The night before he went into action, he gave me his watch to take care of for him. I am sending you his watch the first opportunity I get where I can register it and post it which I doubt won’t be many days. Would you kindly let me know if you received it safe and sound? If there are any particulars which you wou...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Oct. 23, 1917 Somewhere in France

This is the last letter written by Clifford Bowes in the collection. He is killed Oct. 28, five days later fighting at Passchendaele. My dear Mother and folk, No doubt you will be wondering why I do not write more frequent but lately it has been hard to get letters away. However, I am in the best of health and spirits and I hope these few lines find you all enjoying the same blessing. Well, I suppose by now they will have conscription going full blast. I certainly do hope that they do not send Elliott for there have been enough out of our family in this mix up. Anyway, all the boys from home are fine and dandy, at least. Namely, Phillips, Mains and Park are jake and Archie Taylor and few were all to the good the last I saw of them. I have not seen Jim for a long while as they are ...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Aug. 26, 1917 Somewhere in France

Dear Mother and Folks, Just a few lines to let you know that I am still OK. I will start by apologizing for not writing sooner but I have a sore thumb and as you will see by the writing that it is not any too good yet. Well Mother, we sure have had some fighting lately but I am thankful to say that all the boys from home have come out all OK. Henry Phillips missed this do as he was away on a course and just arrived back. Also Tommy Hickman missed it as he was in the field ambulance with an abscess but is back today. Jim Taylor is jake and at present in gay Paris on furlough. I am going to bonny Scotland on mine and expect to be away about the time you receive this letter. I will in all probability cable home for funds as I want to have lots of money to have a good time. So if you ...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Undated Somewhere in France

The first part of this letter with its date is missing. However, Clifford seems to be answering a letter in which his mother has said she had a vision of him in some recent fight. We also learn that Clifford is about to be transferred. As we find out later, his battalion is being sent to Belgium to fight at Passchendaele. I thought I wrote to you about the night you had that vision. Well, we got relieved early that night and missed all that show. [By] the time it started we were back at our billets. So you will be glad that your fears were groundless. I was down to see Freddie’s grave yesterday. It is kept in excellent condition. We are billeted down where he died now but I believe we will soon be on the move to a different front altogether. At least, it is rumoured anyway. Well, ...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – July 25, 1917 Somewhere in France

Dear Mother and Family, Your ever welcome and loving letter of July 3rd was received today and it sure was cheerful to read. I have had several talks with the home boys. I have only run across George Hyde the once and then he was on duty so we only had time to shake hands and wish each other luck. He was then with the ammunition column. Lieut. Linkros was wounded 13th of February and died the same day. That was the first night Jimmie and Freddie hit the front line and what a reception at that but they didn’t seem to mind it at all. They sure were men. So glad to hear of Evelyn passing her summer exams and wish you would get her a suitable present for her from me and express my heartfelt congratulations to her for her success… You will have to excuse this poor writing as I am ra...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – July 7, 1917 Somewhere in France

My Dear Mother and Family, Well, I am the lucky boy. Just drew down your letter, a couple from Ada and one from Elliott and another from little Eva King, all yesterday and they have cheered us up. Believe me, Mother, if our letters are appreciated as much as the ones we get, they must be welcome. I will answer yours and Ada’s and Elliott’s all in one owing to the scarcity of paper and time at hand to write at all. Well, I am in the best of health and the whole battalion are having an easy time of now. Pretty near time we had, for we only had 11 months of a grind right off the bat. So that’s not so bad for a start. But we sure made a name for ourselves on the battlefields of France. What do you think of the way the Russians are coming along at present? A little assistance from them...

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