Sgt GC Roberts 3144
In the Field
Nov 14th 1916
My dear Mailys (How gushing I am)
I have much pleasure in letting you know that I received your welcome letter dated Oct 29th also Dad’s letter of Oct 30th was very pleased to get them. Dad’s was rather short but I forgive him freely in consideration of his having a black eye but hope he will not visit the McLaren again after “Lights Out”. Your letter was a very nice one indeed a long chatty letter just the sort of letter I like from you and just tell Dyfan that if he interferes with your letter again I shall be under the painful necessity of chastising him when I come home and tell him not to take advantage while I am so far out of reach of him. He is too lazy himself to write one, as for your letters being full of gossip let me have more of them, tell him so that will be “Muck in his eye for him”. I don’t understand exactly what you mean when you say you are going to Garth Hall is that some college or other let me know. Dad tells me in his letter that Mam wants me to come home the minute the war is over and not prolong my term of service. Tell Mam and Dad that their word is LAW I will be home as soon as I possibly can perhaps before the war is over. I wrote and told you before that I had received your parcel containing soap, health salts etc and also many thanks for it. I will be on the lookout for the parcel sent by the Ladies Committee I may get it by this mail but most likely by next. I have to make a half time in this letter as it is getting dark. You seem to have a half time in your letter always. HALF TIME
I am on guard again today so I am taking the opportunity of finishing this letter to you hope you won’t mind it being in ink it is the most convenient at present. We are shifting again in a day or so but I don’t expect to be there long and then it will be the old game over again hope I will be as lucky or in fact luckier than last time. I received a parcel containing a cake and a tin of homemade toffee from Auntie Polly I never expected anything from her. Both cake and toffee were in fine condition. I think I told you in my last letter that Sam Jones of Rhymney’s brother has come out to us. He is a Derbyite. There is also a Fred Williams here from Rhymney I think he is some relation to Will Arthur Davies of Warns Terrace, I don’t think much of him. You say that Miss Lela Davies wants me to get her some Greek beads I am afraid I can’t being many miles away from Greece. The ones I sent you are made by the poor girls of Metiline I am glad you like them. I sent them to you as a curio did not think you would like to where them. I had some beads from some Sunussi women or bints but the string was lousy so I gave them away Lew Morgan wears them around his neck now. I would not like to, only he put a new string on them. The Eastern women dress funny many of the poor ones go around with bare feet and all have heavy silver or white metal anklets on also big earrings. The married ones wear a brass affair on their noses to which is attached black or white veils. White veils are only worn by the high class Egyptians. I sent a photo of two of them to you from Alexandria. I am still anxiously waiting to hear if you have received the snapshots and my photo which I sent you. Let me know first opportunity you get. I bathe in the canal very often, but one has to be careful as there is a very strong current running and it is fearful deep. There are some fine boats going up every day. We were shouted at by some English Ladies coming from India or that way somewhere. They had the cheek to shout “Are you downhearted” to us what do you think we said NO and it’s right too. We would all have liked to stow away to Blighty all the same if we had the chance. I don’t suppose the two brave friends of mine namely B. Bebb and H Hughes have had the pluck to enlist and do their bit. They are very good talkers but very bad actors on what they talk. They are frightened of having their skins hurt. How are things going on at school with you what does Miss James think of your chance of going to college. I wish I had 25 pounds to give you, but I expect that if we get into action again there will be no pay for us for a couple of months then I will have a good credit balance. I will try and work one up as soon as I can as it is and get it transferred to you. Hope this war will soon be over and I can come home and work, but I won’t work for the Co op on the same money as I had before no fear of that. Well I can settle all about that when I come home. Hope Dad’s eye is alright by now and Mam’s cold better. Give my love to all at home. With best love and best wishes to you all.
Your affectionate brawd
Divide them between you and Mam, good for any complaint
Derbyite – Lord Derby’s, Director General of Recruiting, introduced a scheme to “encourage” young men to volunteer with the aim to avoid conscription.
The McLaren Arms was a pub/hotel in Abertwssyg, named after the founder of the local mine. I was told that the Rev John Roberts (GCR’s father, known as John the God) would occasionally go down to the local hostelries and persuade (forcibly) members of his flock away from the demon drink. It seems on this occasion he was resisted.
Brawd – Welsh for brother
The two attached photo’s may be those referred to in this letter.