Bill Jenkins 14

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Bill Jenkins 14.


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 first letter from France is transcribed below.



4th August, 1916

Dear Mother & Father,

Just a few lines in answer to your most welcome letter I received few days ago, I was to know you were quite well as same leaves myself at present. It has been raining like the very devil the last few days and everything is wet & miserable. I landed back from my sea-side holiday a few days ago & had to go into the line the same day as I go back so I was stiff, but I had the time of my life down there so I didn’t mind.

I say mum I think I will be going to England shortly now and of course as usual I have got no money so I would like you send me some of my allotment money over about ten or fifteen pound if you have got that much there yet, for I might as well have a good time while I can what do you think. The best way to get it over to me is too cable it to the New Zealand General Post Office, London. don’t forget to give them my name rank & unit so as they can notify me when it arrives.

I had a letter from Ted the other day & he is still at the Base & is likely to stay there for a good bit yet for he is marked P.B. that is permanent Base. Well my dear parents I can’t tell you very much news as there is nothing here so I will ring off now with the best

Love from your Loving Son Bill


Bill Jenkins 14

Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.