Bill Jenkins 16

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Bill Jenkins 16.


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 September 3, 1916 letter is transcribed below.


Harrowby Camp

Sunday 3/9/16

Dear Kate,

I am just going to drop you a few lines to let you know how I am getting on well I am decent and having a good time. We are going on five days leave next week and expect to have a good time and it won’t be our fault if we don’t what do you say. All us boys are still together and we are going to try to stick together right through the piece. They all send their best love to you and also Mary and Alice. We had the Zepps over here last night and there was hell to play for a while but they didn’t drop any bombs near us they were about five miles away. I suppose you will be going to Christchurch to work soon but I think you have a good job where you are. I hope your costume fitted you alright.

If you stay in Wellington until I comeback you might have a long stay for I have not got to the front yet but we might be called up at a minutes notice. Tell Pat I am having a good time and I wish he was with us we have brawls very night with the tommies for they have got a set on us but we beat them every time for one of us is as good as three of them. Well Kate news is dam scarce and I think I will have to bring this note to a close,

With the best love

Bill and all the Boys

Address in future


Pte. W.R. Jenkins,

New Zealand,

Machine Gun Corps


Bill Jenkins 16

Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.