Bill Jenkins 20

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Bill Jenkins 20.

Caption

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 October 4, 1916 letter is transcribed below.

» READ FULL SIZE ORIGINAL LETTER

Belton Park Camp

4/10/16 Wednesday

My Dear Mother & Father

This will be the last opportunity I will have of writing you a decent letter for I am on this draft and are expected to go tomorrow tonight and it is cold wet weather. We were inspected by the General this morning and he wished us all sorts of luck, but they are all the same well behind the firing line. I don’t like the idea of going into the trenches this weather for it is too cold and up to your neck in mud.

Well Mum I hope you and Mag enjoyed your trip around Nelson and Wellington but I suppose everything is jolly quiet in these towns just now.

What is Dad doing now has he gone to the howard again or what is he doing.

I don’t know what to write about I can only tell you I am well and having a good time here but I expect a better time when I land back in N.Z.

Has Wilfred C Mears or any of the Newmans gone into Camp yet if not tell them they don’t know what they are missing by not coming, for I have had the best trip anyone could have but I believe I have got to go through something harder in the near future but I am not downhearted yet I
don’t even realize there is a war on.

Well I will say Au Re Voir but not Goodbye for now,

With best love from

Your loving son Bill

XX X X X X X X X

X XX X X XX X X

Bill Jenkins 20


Year:1916
Sources:Acknowledgement B. Emmers and R. Edgeworth.