The Letters of Arthur Martin-Leake October 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

To listen to the audio clip, click play on the bar below the image on the right.

The chaplains put in some good work at the front & completely annihilate the jam. {caption for illustration}

7/10/14* – No. 5 Field Ambulance 2nd Division

My dear Mammy

We are still in the same place & still doing nothing. There is always a great noise going on, but it does nobody any harm & there are only a very few wounded. The weather is beautiful, but getting cold at nights. We are living in a very comfortable farmhouse & if it wasn’t for the noise & occasional shells we wouldn’t know there was any war going on. We learn from the papers that the Russians are doing well.

I should be much obliged if you would send me a box of carbolic tooth powder & a stick of shaving soap. Sorry to bother you so much but I shall soon be complete in equipment. I suppose we shall go on for many months yet unless the Russians do wonderfully well in {sic} the other side. Best love & hoping you are very fit…

{HALS reference 87016}


9/10/15 – B.E.F.

Mr dear Mammy

Many thanks for the letters. You will have received mine now acknowledging the parcels. The covey of partridges in pots was excellent.

There is no leave going at present, but I think I shall get away directly it starts. The Balkan tangle is huge. I hope we shall send a large force down there, so that we can really smash them. It won’t do to let the Germans through.

We are very peaceful here & haven’t had any wounded in for some days.

When are S[teenie] & W[illie] getting leave for the pheasants? I should like to get home for then if possible.

The weather is very autumnal & we have had some slight frosts.

Hoping you are quite fit.

Best love

Y[ou]r affect[iona]te son
A.M. Leake

{HALS reference 87017}


* The letter is dated 7/10/14, but is filed with the October 1915 letters. It’s not clear from the content whether the date is correct or a slip of Arthur’s pen, but I felt it should be included, if only for the cartoon.

This page was added on 08/07/2015.

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