Bill Jenkins 06

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Bill Jenkins 06.


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 w

ar in letters he sent to his family.

Bill's s May 5 letter home, from Featherston camp, a military training base during WW1, is transcribed below.



Dear Mum & Dad,

Just a line to let you know I have arrived safe and sound and about four days late and they only stopped the four days pay so we got off lucky, but there was about four hundred of us so they couldn’t do much to us as it would be about a days work to call the roll every morning so it wouldn’t pay them to give us any more. I saw Kate and pat and was knocking about with them and had a great time. We got a cheap trip out to camp all the way in a motor car with Ken Kennedy he was going out and he took us out with him sixty miles for nothing so I think is was very good of him don’t you. We will be leaving here in a week from today and by hang I won’t be sorry. We got into camp last night and haven’t done no drill today so it is very easy sitting about all day but we are going to strike it solid tomorrow and tomorrow night we got to sleep out all night and it will be cold as blazes for we nearly froze in the tents so what will it be like outside under a wire fence. We all landed out to camp stoney broke we had 2d between the pair of us.

We stopped at the new commercial pub for two nights and had breakfast for nothing so we worked a point there alright, we had one bed for five of us so the other four went up to the room and no one else in the other beds so we turned int to them and it came off alright so we done the same thing the next night. Well, I don’t think I will write
any more just now for I have to go to the dentist at four o’clock and it is nearly that now so I will ring off now with

Best love XXXX

From Bill

More next time

Write soon,


Bill Jenkins 06

Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.