Friday, April 27, 2012

August 30, 1918 Letter: Captain J.C. Little to his Wife

Ray's Captain writes to his wife about the battle of August 30, 1918 in which Ray Jackson was wounded. The letter was published in the Teeswater News on October 10, 1918. This was likely the Second Battle of Arras and part of the Hundred Days Offensive that led to the Allied Victory in November 1918.

Two days after this appeared in the Teeswater News, Captain Little was taken prisoner of war by the Germans, and was not repatriated to England until December 12, 1918.

Extracts from a letter written by Capt. J.C. Little to his wife dated August 30, 1918 and printed in the ‘Teeswater News’ on October 10, 1918.

“This is absolutely the first chance in a week and a half that I have had to write you. We have moved about eighty miles from where I wrote you last and have been over the top four times. The poor old battalion is just a shadow of what it was. With my usual good fortune I was put in charge of the evacuation party. We had to evacuate all the wounded and, believe me, I don’t want another three days like it. I just had six hours sleep in three days. In our company every officer that went in was wounded, and all the N.C.O’s but three were either killed or wounded. The company came out 28 strong out of 110. We advanced seven miles however.

Our brigade was the hardest hit of any. Two of our Company Commanders were killed. ‘A’ and ‘B’ Company Capt. Parsons (our O.C.) and Major Graham of ‘D’ were wounded, not badly though. The second in command of our Company was on leave and will be back today, and another officer, Capt. Baxter, of Chatham, who used to be O.C. of ‘C’ Company, arrived from reserve this morning, so we are alright again. The N.C.O.’s are going to be the hard proposition.

My bedroll, with all my belongings, has not turned up since I left the Corps school, so I have been sleeping in and wearing the same clothes for three weeks and you can imagine how uncomfortable I feel.

We are not likely to be in action again for months at least, as it will take all of that time to get us into any sort of shape again. At the end of the month I ought to be due for leave as my six months in France are up on September ___.

Could you let Father know I am alright, and as soon as I get back out, I’ll write a decent letter. By the way this paper and envelope is just what I took off a ‘Heiny’ prisoner; that is how I am able to write this as I have none of my own.”

Report on the battle in which Ray Jackson was wounded
From The Teeswater News
October 10, 1918

No comments:

Post a Comment