Bill Jenkins 19

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Bill Jenkins 19.


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 28, 1916 letter is transcribed below.


Belton Park

28/9/16 Thursday

My Dear Mother & Father,

Here I am again writing to you I got a big mail yesterday two letters from you two from Mag two from Kate one from Saidy and four from a girl down the coast you might find out who she is when I come home again and I hope that won’t be long. There has been one draft picked out and are going out to France tonight but I never had the luck to get picked this time but I don’t think we will be here long now I hope we aint anyway for I am sick and tired of camp life it is just about nine months now since we joined so it is a long time.

I haven’t got a letter from Ted or Emma since I have been in England so I don’t write too many to them I can tell you for if they like to be nasty and not write I can play the same game with them. How is N.Z. looking up now I believe you and Mag have been having a good trip around lately so you are not doing so bad. There are a lot of our boys getting smacked up at the front now I believe they are going to shift up boys to another part of the line where they are going to make another big push so there will be a few more of our boys get smacked up yet.

I wrote to Mick a good while ago but haven’t got an answer yet so I don't know if he has even got it as not. How is everybody at home I hope they are as well as I am at present for I am in then pink of condition I am heavier now than I have ever been in my life before so I hope I keep like it all through the field. There has been a a lot of the thirteenth reinforcements killed and wounded so they wasn’t long getting into action was they.

Well Dear mother and father I will ring off now with then best love from your loving son Bill


Bill Jenkins 19

Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.