Evesham Journal

January 16, 1915

From the trenches of the First World War

CHARLIE Pratt, of the Warwickshire Regiment, wrote home from the trenches to his parents at Naunton Beauchamp, near Pershore, 100 years ago acknowledging the "lovely parcel of good things received safely".

He went on to say:- "It is my belief we have gone through the worst of this war, though of course no one can see into the future.

"There is no mistake we have been fighting hard since we set foot in France, and we really deserve the rest which it is rumoured is to be granted us.

"It is said that all those who came out with the battalion are to receive ten days furlough. Some of the officers, including sergeant-majors, have already gone. They are taking it down the roll, NCO's first, so don't be surprised if I come walking into Home, Sweet Home one of these days.

"It seems to good to be true, but that's the rumour. By the way, I had a pleasant surprise this morning. I had been out to get some water across several fields, and when I got back my old chum H. McSill was waiting to see me.

"He had just come out from England. You remember him: that curly headed chap, the last of that football group on the photo. It did cheer me up to see him, as I had been downhearted since Bole was killed. Walters has also just come over to France, but he has not joined us yet.....

"At times it is like living in hell; God forgive me for saying so, but it's quite right. God knows what it is like for the Germans; our chaps keep mowing them down hundreds, but still they keep coming on in droves, only to be slain on the edges of our trenches.

"Our chaps keep in good heart; still it is hard to fight always in the same spirit, knowing there are hundreds of thousands of young fellows stopping at home instead of coming out to help/

"Surely it would mean a lot to us, not only by giving us a rest, but it would finish this awful affair in half the time.

"Of course if they don't come we shall win just the same, but it won't be to their credit.

"Everybody says the German must be crushed, and we will do it if it takes months or years."