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

Chancellor George Osborne laid out his plan for the South West at Appledore Shipyard on Friday. Picture: Jasmine Little

George Osborne made the pledge during a speech at Appledore Shipyard this morning (Friday)

Read more
10:06
Caravans moved onto Barnstaple's Rock Park earlier  this evening (Wednesday).

Enforcement officers called off as encampment vacates Rock Park.

Read more
Unveiling the Conservative six point plan for the South West.

The Chancellor is paying a visit to Appledore Shipyard this morning (Friday) to announce, among other things, improvements to A361 Link Road.

Read more
Russell Cheesman, who was found dead in Bideford on Sunday, October 26.

Russell Cheesman, 32, was found dead near Bideford skate park having taken a number of drugs and drinking alcohol.

Read more
The submerged car in Appledore. Picture: Andy Willterton.

Coastguard and a local tractor driver attempted to rescue the vehicle yesterday (Thursday) which is still stuck in the sand.

Read more
The Hobby Horse

From agriculture shows and food fairs to railway shows and picnics - there is loads to do in North Devon this bank holiday weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:51
New North Devon Council deputy leader Pat Barker and leader Des Brailey.

Annual meeting sees the formation of a new Conservative led administration

Read more
Yesterday, 14:01
The inquest was held at Bideford Town Hall this morning (Thursday).

Julian Renouf, 37, died in April last year during a ‘tragic accident’ after fishing vessel overturned, trapping him underneath.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00
Westward Ho! Picture: Stephen Ring

Double header for Westward Ho! with a coveted Blue Flag plus Seaside Award, but others receive a share of the spoils too...

Read more
Yesterday, 12:18

Inspector overturns council’s decision ot refuse 59 homes at Mead Park

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder