Leonard Jackson, 54993, Letter from hospital
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|Title||Leonard Jackson, 54993, Letter from hospital|
|Notes||My Grandfather Leonard Jackson of Millbridge near Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, was killed on the 26th of September 1917, aged 28, at Passchendaele, Belgium. There is no grave as he was blown to pieces by a shell. His name is on the Tyne Cot memorial near Ypres.|
He enlisted in June 1916, joining the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as he was working in Wales at the time. He was wounded in the leg in April 1917, but was sent back to the front after treatment.
He left behind a widow, Minnie, and three little girls; Ruby aged 2, Constance aged 4, and Evelyn Mavis, my mother, aged 6.
The first of his letters, dated April 16th 1917, was written whilst wounded in the 1st Canadian General
Hospital in France.
This was written on both sides of a single sheet of notepaper. There is a word I can't read on the second page and I've probably got the names of the places they marched through wrong as well.
Below is a transcription.
Pt L Jackson 54993
10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Y Ward, Cot 74,
1st Canadian General Hospital,
My Dear Old Girlie,
Am just dropping you a line or two as promised in my letter I wrote on Saturday. I don't seem to have the luck to be transferred to England, but never mind, old luvie, I have got out of an awful affair with being wounded. I was glad when I got hit in the leg, although it was somewhat painful at the time. No one knows what was is like only those who have been over the top. I really thought hell was let loose. Shells were bursting all around me, and bullets were whizzing past like fury. I was number 2 on a Lewis machine gun, and I had no rifle nor revolver. On and on I went, kid, thinking of you, my dear old girl, and my sweet little girlies, when all at once it came. I was glad then. I could see myself on the boat for Blighty, I could see myself walking in home as you have often pictured. But somehow or other it hasn't come off yet. Lots of fellows I came in with in hospital have gone to England. I do wish they would send me too. However, I will try my best to come, old sport. The way a man is treated in the army is not up to much kid. When I have asked you to send a parcel every week with eatables in, it has been because we have had little grub. ##### [Fancy? Ed.] nine hungry men having to go a day on a small loaf (about 1 1/2 lbs.) It was a slice each for the whole day. At dinner time we get jippo - a kind of stew (some stew, too) It is nothing but bully beef and water. Bully beef makes me sick. Just before I was wounded I had had no dinners for a fortnight. I do not want to put the wind up you Kid by telling you all this, but you see why I was so anxious for parcels. We get paid when they think fit. It is nothing fresh to be without a cent for a month. I am without now and not a fag, so if you can manage it Kid, send a little on to above address by registered post as quick as you can. Perhaps mother will help you. I am trying to get someone to post this in England for me. So you must say whether you have received it and the one I wrote on Saturday. When I firs left Roueu I went on Queue (Bus, Courcelles, and Louvencourt) and in January we marched to Rubeusfore, Habloy, where we stopped for about 3 weeks. We then went on the march for about 5 days till we got to Hauteville, and had a little more training, went into trenches at Arras twice, then came out and went to Berleucoert to practice the attack. That is as much as I care to tell you Kid, as I have no more paper. Well, Kid, I love you dearly and I conclude with the greatest love and kisses to you, my dear old sport, and the darling girlies.
Yours, Leu XXXXXX
Pte. 54993 Leonard Jackson, 10th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was killed on the opening day of the battle of Polygon Wood (the third phase of the third battle of Ypres), serving in the 3rd Division.
|Item Date||16th April 1917|
|Creation place||1st Canadian General Hospital|
|Copyright||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor|
|Digital repository||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford|
|Contributor Name||Adrian Layden|
|Contributed on the behalf of||Jill Layden|