Bill Jenkins 15

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Bill Jenkins 15.


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 August 24, 1916 letter is transcribed below.


Harrowby Camp


My Dear Mother and Father,

I received two letters today from you and one from Mag and two more that I won’t split who they were from. I was pleased to hear that you were all in the best of health as it leaves me at present. It is starting to get cold here now and we will feel it when the snow starts to fall but we will live through it alright. We are still training on the machine guns and we are starting to know a bit about them now. If we get to the front with them we will blow holes in the Germans and it will be better sport than shooting deer, firing six hundred shots a minute is not bad going, I never thought I would ever fire that many. We are still having a good time here and we are getting to know a few people now and there are some very nice people here.

Well look here Mum I can’t think of any dam news so this won’t be a very long one but I suppose it will be as long as the one I got from you today but as long as you know how I am it is all you want to know.

I suppose Dad will soon be going up the howard to make his fortune. Bert Duncan has been up to see Jim he has been in the hospital for three months and he never sent word home. He was suffering from his heart. Tell Saidy to bustle and write some letters for I haven’t had a letter from her since I landed here. How is wee Georgie and the baby getting on I suppose she can walk now. How did Ada get on I hope she is alright now.

I thought you could see through things better than you can for when I mentioned about seeing the place where carlin lives it was only to let you know the course we were going we were up to all sorts of dodges them days. Well Mum I will have to bring this to a close now.

With best love from
your loving Son Bill XXXXXXX


Bill Jenkins 15

Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.