Bill Jenkins 07

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Bill Jenkins 07.


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 May 16 letter home, from Trentham Camp, is transcribed below.


Trentham Camp


Dear Mum & Dad,

I got your letter this very day and was pleased to hear you were all well, but was sorry that dad has a bad back and hope that is it better when you get this note. I have had a couple of days in the hospital but there was nothing wrong with me only on our way over the hill in the march it was raining all the way and we had to sleep out in the bush and it was real cold so I kidded sick the second day and got a ride in the moter (sic) ambulance and the run me in to the hospital and kept me there for three days but I am out now and having a good time.

We are doing our final shooting now and it is an easy thing nothing to do. Well we have only another fortnight to put in old New Zealand and god only knows where we are going to and he won’t split will he, I think we are going to France and I hope we are for we will see something worth seeing. Or mum you said in your letter that Beat got a letter from me before you did but look here I posted them both the same time and if you don’t believe me just get the envelope from her and compare the dates and you will find that it is the same. You will get this one the same day as she gets one as I am going to post them the same time and in the post office so they ought to go together this time.

I have seen Kate a couple of times lately and she is doing alright. I say I haven’t seen anything of the cakes that you sent but I suppose I will get them some of these days. I have sent Jim & Joe up here and Joe is sick and was in bed when I saw him he was in town last Saturday and got lost. I don’t suppose you re coming up to see us off but I suppose it would not be of much use as you would not see much of me as there is such a big crown of people there and you would have a hard job to find any one. Well mum news is Dam scarce up here and really I don’t know what to write about, so I think I will bring this scribble to a close,

With best love from Bill

write soon and shake the cakes up.

Bill Jenkins 07

Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.