Bill Jenkins 09

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Bill Jenkins 09.


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 letter from sea is transcribed below.


Somewhere at Sea

Saturday June 3 (1916)

Dear Mother,

Just a few lines to let you know we are having a good time I haven’t been sick yet and we are out four days so I am not doing so bad, but it is as calm as a pons. We have got a piano on board and a set of boxing gloves and we get a hell of a lot of fun out of it, but you get sick of see the same f old thing every day but I suppose we will get used to it. Well mum I cant tell you much as all the letters go through the censor and everything Would be crossed off so it would be a waste of time writing about all those things. We had a good time before we left Wellington we got two nights leave after we came in to embark so they treated us all right but the boat wasn’t ready to sail so I don’t suppose they could do anything else with us. Six weeks on the boat will seem a long time but it will soon go round. God only knows where we are going to and he won’t spit but I suppose we will get to the end of our journey one of these days.

How are all the people about the hill I suppose they are all well, did you get the photos I sent down and what do you think of them if you are of the same opinion as me you won’t think much of them. Well mum news is very scarce on the ship so I will write short notes and often.

So good bye for now

With the best love

From your loving son Bill.


Bill Jenkins 09

Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.