Bill Jenkins 05

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Bill Jenkins 05.


Bill Jenkins was too young to go to war without parental permission, which his father Robert gave, much against Bill's mother Annie’s wishes. Bill was killed in action on April 5, 1918, seven months before the war ended.

Bill chronicled his experience of the war in letters he sent to his family.

Bill's April 2 letter home, from Featherston camp, a military training base during WW1, is transcribed below.


Featherston Camp

Dear Mum

Just a line in answer to your letter I got the other day. Well Mum I thought I had better drop you a line tonight for I might be dead tomorrow as I am going out on the shit cart tonight and I would not take that job on for anything in civil life. Well I will not have to do anything tomorrow and I will have a good sleep in for we don‘t get a chance any other morning as we have to be up at half past five. It is just the same old news up here and the same old thing over and over again. We have all gone mad up here and have gone in to short pants and it is pretty cold first thing of a morning but we will get used to them. We will be gone on our leave in about a fortnight and I think we will get 3 days on account of easter and I hope it is fine weather and I will have a decent time. Well Mum I don't think I will write any more now as it is so dark and I have no light. What is Dad going to do now he has finished his contract.

I will sign off now with best love from Bill. Write soon.

Bill Jenkins 05

Sources: Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.