Leeds Mercury 1914: Letters from the Front

Readers who received letters from men on active service were invited to submit them to the “Leeds Mercury.” Any extracts published were paid for, with the promise that letters would be carefully and promptly returned to the senders.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th February 2014, 3:49 pm


Private Carwardine, who is now lying in hospital at Netley, writes to a Dewsbury man, with whose son he went away to fight for Britain.

“I hope this will find you in the best of health as I am not so well myself just now but I hope I shall soon be better and off to the front again. I am very sorry but I don’t know for sure about your Joe.

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“You see, although he was in the same company as me he was not in-the same section. I only wish he had been.

“The last I saw of him was when we were in the firing line making trenches for ourselves.

“He was about six hundred yards behind us, smoking, and I waved to him. Then all of a sudden we had to get down in our trenches, for bullets started coming over our heads.

“The enemy was about 700 yards from us. There were only a handful of us to about 130,000 Germans, but we kept them back.

“After that I know no more until I found myself in hospital, and I asked one of our chaps how our company went on and he told me there were only 17 of us left out of 210. I hope Joe is among them.

“Don’t be downhearted for if Joe is killed he has died a soldier of honour on the field.

“Excuse writing as I am a bit shaky, and I hope to God Joe is safe, for both your sakes.”