Noel Downing to Mary Letter, Jan 1916

This is a letter from Noel Downing to his sister, Mary Downing, dated 17 Jan 1916. Noel, still a private, had arrived in France on 14 Nov 1915 with the 21st Royal Fusiliers




My Dear Mary

I was very much puzzled over the white heather at first because it was some time before I could make out the signature but it was awfully nice of her to send it considering I hardly know her. Please thank her very much.

I have had another letter from Aubrey, he seems very bored with life but I wouldn’t mind changing place with him! However, I know the feeling but once you are out here you soon wish yourself back. But we had a little sport this last time with the Germans, only we were up there a bit too long for this time of year. They would have been far more angry had they known how little damage they really did. They kept throwing bombs over their parapet all night long, thinking some of us might be crawling up while all the time we were sitting peacefully in our dug-outs, eating, smoking and sleeping, but I had a good bit of night work.

Many thanks for your letter, you must have been having a lot of work lately. I hope Billy is still going strong. I’ve not heard anything of him for a long time. It seems years and years since I was at home last, tho’ its not 3 months ago. One loses count of all time out here and one never knows sometimes what day of the week it is as they are all just the same. Sunday in the trenches is always a day of artillery strafe, but beyond that it is just the same as any other day.

I must stop now.

Yrs Ever



Letter from Noel Downing, Jan 1916. p.1

Letter from Noel Downing, Jan 1916. p.1


Letter from Noel Downing, Jan 1916. p.2

Letter from Noel Downing, Jan 1916. p.2