Wilmot Evans to Mary Downing Letter, Oct 1914

This letter from Wilmot Evans to Mary Downing, dated 1 Oct 1914, and is the first of six of his war time letters preserved in Mary’s Writing Box.


Crown Hotel, Lyndhurst, New Forest

Oct 1 1914

My Dear Mary

You were an angel to write to me to-day, and I was awfully pleased to get your letter to cheer me up during the horrors that will undoubtedly beset me in the future. I fancy we are moving off this week-end, all leave has been cancelled now, but of course they never tell us anything and we shall go at about 24 hours notice I expect. I did love getting your letter as I was afraid everyone in England had forgotten me, & I hasten to thank you for it from the bottom of my heart. It’s well over two years since I have been in England and I had forgotten it was such a cold spot. I nearly die of cold here at nights and I am sure a few nights in the trenches will do for me altogether even if I am not shot before that.I expect Molly has told you a good deal about me and my doings in Africa, which would take a long time to describe in a letter. All I can say is that I was desperately sorry to leave Maritzburg and I am only cheered now by the prospect of war, which I have been waiting for for the last four years ever since I have been a soldier in fact. It will be awfully nice to get home and see you all again after the war, if I do come home, and I am looking forward to that more than anything as I shall be entitled to six months leave, and I can’t imagine anything nicer than coming home from a war. Please give Noel my very best love, and thank him very much for his letter, which I got enclosed in one from Phyllis. It was really devilish amusing and I laughed over it loud and long. I am afraid I must say goodbye now, Mary as time presses very heavily and I have only just crept into the hotel to write this letter for a few minutes, because it is so hard to write in camp. I suppose you are not likely to come & nurse us out at the war? Only if you are at a hospital at home let me know which it is and I will come to you to be nursed back to health and strength. You would hardly know me now as I am all grown up with a moustache and all. Goodbye and thanks most awfully for writing. I hope you will do it again during the war. My very best love to you.

Yrs Ever

Wilmot Evans