The Letters of Arthur Martin-Leake May 1915

World War One letters from a double VC

Read by Nicholas Blatchley

Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies
From Arthur's Wartime Photo Album - Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies
Letter 86991
Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies

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10/5/15 — 5th F.A.

My dear Mammy

I wish I was at home to give you my best wishes on your birthday; however the chance of a little leave may catch up again before long so that I can give them to you in person.  I hope your next birthday will see all this trouble over & the world more settled again.  The garden must be beautiful now & I hope you are enjoying this splendid weather.  It has been quite hot here & I am shedding clothing.

The last two days have been spent in heavy fighting & we have had a tremendous lot of work.  Our casualties must have been very heavy.  I have been fixed here in the hospital & have had nothing to do with any field work.  Nobody knows about the result of the fight; but we don’t seem to have made any great progress in these parts.

Thanks very much for the vest; it is just the kind for the summer.  One more will be sufficient for the present.  Should like a couple of thin pants.  Thank Bella much for the photos. The Old Bish is very pleased with his.

All the animals at Marshalls seem to be doing very well & I note the large increase in cats & guinea pigs.  What a great crowd of little pigs there must be now?

Am very glad that Frank can get some enjoyment out of what must be a very trying sort of life. We have had no news of the Russians for some days; they seem to have had a bit of a knock, but they will probably soon get over it.

Well, my very best love & congratulations & many happy returns.

Y[ou]r affect[ionate] son
A.M. Leake

{HALS reference 86986}


24/5/15 — 5th F.A.

My dear Mammy

I fine parcel just arrived with good things & the unmentionable article.  Thanks much to Bella.

We are in a little country village, with the school as a hospital; but nothing much going on.  The Div[isio]n is resting & getting up to strength again.  This is perfect peace here, & there is a fine large wood to go riding in.  The country is very pretty & not spoiled by war, so you see we are a good long way back.

We have not had much news except we hear today that Italy has declared war, so they are probably hard at it now.  They will have to fight now like gooduns, having once begun.  It is a question of their existence the same as it is with us.

I suppose you are still very busy cabinet making & I hope your efforts will be a success.  We must have conscription & it would have a real good effect on Germany.  The Germans think we are only playing at this show yet.

Many thanks to Sittie for letters.  I wonder what Frank thinks of the Italian navy.  The papers say it is very good.  Best love.

Y[ou]r affect[ionate] son
A.M. Leake

{HALS reference 86991}

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