Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Letters from the Great War: A Christmas truce...

09:56 03 July 2014

Lance Corporal Chas Brown.

Lance Corporal Chas Brown.

Archant

TO mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One the Gazette is continuing to publish excerpts from letters sent home from Ilfracombe men at the front line.

This week we have a letter from Lance Corporal Charles ‘Chas’ Brown of C Company, 1st Devonshire Regiment, who wrote from the trenches to his old headmaster Mr Lord at SS Pip and Jim’s School in Ilfracombe.

Dear Mr Lord - I regret not writing to you before, but at last I have a few minutes to myself. Thanks very much for the Christmas card, and I live in hopes of returning thanks personally before long.

I am longing for that, and very often at night in the trenches I think of the good times I spent at SSPJ.

On Christmas Eve we had a long march after a few days of ‘rest’, and at last reached the firing line. We had orders that B and D companies were to enter the trenches and A and C to be in reserve.

In the early hours of Christmas morning a German officer appeared and said that if we did not fire he would not.

I had to go off to the firing line with a message about this, and on arriving I was never more surprised in my life, as I found Devons and Germans all mixed up and having a fine time.

I believe this lasted all day. We relieved B Co. in the evening, and Boxing Day was just the same for us – all the best of friends.

I must honestly say I did not hold with it, and I said to my chum, ‘I wonder what the people at home will think of this?’

Well it very soon came to a close, and they began sending their ‘Jack Johnsons’, and we replied with our ‘iron rations’, which they do not like at all.

The weather here is awful, and it is quite laughable to see us trying to get out of mud knee-deep, so we hope for better weather soon.

There are one or two Combe boys in the regiment, of whom Private T Rawle is my mate. We both left Jersey together on August 20th, and please God we both hope to return safe and sound.

Tea has just arrived and Tom has the tea and I have the biscuits and jam. May the time roll on to when I can have a jolly good feed of Devonshire butter.

Please remember me to all my chums and say I should be very glad to have a line from some of them. Hoping you are in the best of health.

Yours very sincerely, Chas Brown (Lce Cpl), one of your ‘Old Boys’.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

29 minutes ago

Devon County Council will be carrying out works in Barnstaple from Monday with temporary traffic lights in place.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:41
Residents have been clearing up flood debris and mud at Corner Lane in Combe Martin

Residents are busy with clean-up operations this afternoon (Saturday) following the earlier downpours.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:31
Pilton residents protesting against plans for yet more homes in the area. Picture: Sarah Howells

Residents have had enough as new proposals for 44 homes add to more than 600 new houses approved by North Devon Council for the area.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:19
The A39 near the Hoops Inn in Woolsery. Picture: Donna Paterson.

North Devon is currently under an amber weather warning as heavy rainfall lashes the region. Latest road, flooding and bus service disruptions here.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Sophie Welch has become an NCS Leader.

Sophie Welch, 17, chosen from thousands to become an NCS Leader

Read more
Yesterday, 07:59
Park School headteacher Gareth Roscoe

Gareth Roscoe reflects on his first 100 days in the job – and a few changes

Read more
Fri, 17:57
Don't miss the music, entertainment and antics of the LeperFest at Taddiport in Torrington on Saturday, February 1.

Don’t miss the big parade of lepers plus live music at taddiport this Saturday (February 6) from 8.30pm

Read more
Fri, 14:00
KT Tunstall will headline GoldCoast Oceanfest on Sunday, June 19

Big names announced for this year’s GoldCoast Oceanfest at Croyde from June 17-19.

Read more
Fri, 13:05
Memories of Barnstaple fair. Picture: Barnstaple Fair Heritage Society

Barnstaple Fair Heritage Society have received a welcome boost after receiving lottery funding for an exciting project.

Read more
Fri, 10:31
Geoffrey Cox and Peter Heaton-Jones

Peter Heaton-Jones and Geoffrey Cox are divided on whether or not the UK should leave the EU.

Read more

Local Weather

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications