Letters from James Joseph Makin to his family 1918 - Part 6 of 6

Conflict:
First World War, 1914–18
Part of Quest:
Subject:
  • Letters
Status:
Awaiting approval
Accession number:
RCDIG0001462
Difficulty:
2

Page 1 / 10

4 You will see that he was wounded on Aug. 23r (not 28 as previously reported) This was the date Lrent Berchevaire, a told me, but pat of Les's in thes bn my saying it was reported the he said that possibly he was 28 They had just gone through wrong. St Martons Wood near Bray. I have a letter dated 22nd Aug. from Les He sayss that Which I shall enclose. There was a stint on foot Poorold him. boy, my heart aches for The morning mail has just arrived bringing Ruby's letter of 5 Aug and Yours of 2278 one from Reg. Bennert. Reg. has sent a Xmas parcel early in Aujust. He is a fe boy and I am sorry you do not know him well Knbys letter on a long one, well written and guite the best I have yet had from her. I shall answer it I am sarry t day or so. you were worried over me not getting that money You sent me in June I have told unhe six weeks ago. You the Banks notification went askray and that the girl at the Bank yold money had arrived When C 2 no called. there on several occasions MEMOF 10141
4 Girls as a whole are most unreliable clerks and responsible for a lot of 8 am trouble in this respect. pleased to hear that Jack Draper called, and hope he will visit You Set. Konsman did not again. get home He is at manage to present in the Pay office at No 4 Command Depot, Surdcoll, and we I don't correspond regularly remember Les mentioning Capt Youghton he was one to me, but no doubt of his many friends. I was very reluctant to cancel my allotment and was more t sarry when I found that you had sent the money, which would have obviased such a step. Hill dear if you can manage it mother will be better than you sending money periodically. I shall have sufficient now without you sending any more, and may be able to save I had no rdea some as well. that the fact of his having no allatment interfered with his pension. it will not matter in my case, as shall not be in my more danger and hope to be safely home Ext Easter that have learned 1014
6 83 Your favor. He must a will have accrued about ₤180 deferred Is it not lamentable that he pay. was not spaied to enjoy his well- eamed money and to appreciate once more a peaceful life under Harry must the old conditions! bit of his money have a good I suppose you will be and I hope to fetting that also. you isist on getting Loodness Denny of it too after the every way things have hured out. I forget I told you that I wrote whether long letter a couple of him a weeks ago Consequent on his leaving You, and telling him all that I thought about him and Issie also Whatever you do, you must not he softened by any circumstances and let him have any whatever It would not be fair to of 7 You ald hes whose views I know so well on this poms. I think at is well for Harry hes did not fet back in this respect for his conduct would need a lot of explaining You need not mention what I have written to him though for no doubt at would hard his feelings. 00146
I ame writing to London to get a Shos of Lar's grave, which I shall send it comes to hand. You when I have just had a note from Kinsman saying he io coming here Furdcot. I hope he today from will be able to get here in the Pay a fino dbe office with me. of company. chap and the best I had a number of snaps taken at Defracombe and should they hurn out abright I shall send It was to dull for you some. You Shotography though. much your shop took mention having I hope of tinga on your Eetter you will be sending me one The doctor sent you a parcel of while Leather some time ago. It should reach you shortly. He was very pleased with your little presents which I am sure he will heasure. Hrs room at Westcliff in one mass all his soldic of war Phoppaps friends. Has seems its be his and his shots and mine favorite are together in a promment position, He has a fine enlargement of that Danfan Gronp of Carrie Tubb, te Mosse officer edoctor, hes, and two other 10146 1AA
4 Shols several other I obtained doctor on my last visit Les and the to Westeliff When I met Les in London about twelve months ago he got Three photes of himself from me he wanted to fet some saying printed from them. He did not return them to me, so probably They will be sent home with his They hold me at Hodges. effect. that everything likely to be of any Sentmental value which he had in his would reach you in possession You will understand due course. that I am quite mable to get any of them on account of my not being mentioned in his paybook or at I am doing my best to Hdgrs. locate his trunk, but have not successful as yet. been I got a Bulleting and Irgus both dated late in August a few days ago. They were addressed to Tred Juergens, London address) I am pleased. I wld you to write to that address as it is much the quickest and safest The sends them on to me immediately You will meet many of my friend have Most of them apres la. Guerre. 146
my address and I think they will whenever they his Melbourne. visit me I sent a bundle of music from Iefracomve a few To Ruby I hope it arrives OR. days ago. send some to Gertie I shall I am pleased shortly also have shick to their that wih I feel an awful dud Music at not being able to playor sing. I cannot help the latter disability of course, but I regret not being Able to Manysulate the worres. I wonder if I shall be home for sext University. Year, and if I shall have sufficient courage to It is a matter of start again. conjecture, I am afraid. I feel I should like to get mts a busmess, failing that The prospect of being a paid clerk all my life worries ase a bit. Did I eve tell you bes and I had decided it go on the land. We did so on talking of home one day whilst sholling on London. At The time I could not picture myself holding the plough handles or sitting behind a reaper and binder, but I MORIA
thought I might install myself as a in The business somehow sleeping parmer, feeding the fowls or something easy like that But I think must be barn a man a farmer, like everything else. It seems to come easier to me to work with my head than my hands and it seems. to me I have done so through most of this war Do you wonder when I am going to finish off this letter! It resembles macaroni to the somewhat all chapped short and m little preces Full I know you are Mr indulgent correspondent on will not criticize my Composition. I worked Yesterday 4 hours, being the last day of the month. Todayon stack, and I am writing letters instead of working I must fish off now though and do a at Best love it all, and done farget to keep smiling Your affectionate son,
No. 1 Command Depot, Sulson Veny Wilkshire, 11.12.18. Father My dearest Mother & received Obday I have Your letters of 2919, thanks 16/10 and 27/10 to having them Juergens, sent to Red. and although awaiting them and I am always to them from mail to forward look at present I almost dread to Mail, them for fear of hearing some open bad news. I know too well what a fearful shock you have received, and that it has tome as a climast to several years of almost continual worry. It is too much to expect a mother or father not to grieve, but I sincerely hope You will bear up against this stroke of adversity and say as I have Many French mothers mutter heard when several sons had fallen Cest champ d'honneur, mort an la guerre, cest la querre. It rs enough to know hes lives in heaven there is such a place as surely As Gods creation I have not to say I am sorry
2 prospect Sf imediate Yet any You may rest for home. leaving no stone I am leaving assured inturned by which I may achieve greatest wish, which io to my you and try to comfort return your trouble. M I do not wish you to forget of all acts Les or the greatest self sacrifice in laying love and of for his connery, life down his live, but I pray might that we you to dtrengthen will that God the better. your burden of grief Dear lay awake at night I often time we shall and if i wonder those who he asleep, forget, forges tive to see that who did not treat day in our lives, which recently celebrated we have all with goy, but which and hailed Through all those black, dark too wonderful for seemed days fear that Harry realization. forgothnr, or else did has already time, realize how nobly not, at any against never Murmuring heswas carrying on bitter disappointments and hardships 0014
4 AAI. seen by others. thing it is to think What a harrible such discard in a family of the same of consider a man, who flesh and blood. the money entrusted him by lavishes who is risking his life that a brother the yother enjoy his life of security and he might And then the thanks he gives, prosperity consideration he shows, to his mother and the when he achieves a position in which he can afford to go away, after being helped along when things were not too bright. These are some of the things which must be explained. They are granting us ten days leave I shall try to at Xmas or New Year. possible. It will get over to Honen if probably be the only opportunity I shall get of seeing St. Levers bemebary. Terhe and Yourselves I wrote to Rulry a day or s0 ago, so there is not You. Bill much news left to tell OBrien leaves for Weymouth tomorrow and will way home. Jack Barry, soon be on his bid him bon voyage 3 Dick Maher and trnight. all Much love to Do Your loving Ii 001

                                                                          4/

You will see that he was wounded on
Aug. 23rd (not 28th as previously reported)
this was the date Lieut Birchevaise, a
pal of Les's in the 5th, told me, but
on my saying it was reported the
28th, he said that possibly he was
wrong. They had just gone through
St Martins Word near Bray. I have
a letter dated 22nd Aug. from Les,
which I shall enclose. He says that
there was a stunt on foot. Poor old
boy, my heart aches for him.
           The morning mail has just
arrived, bringing Ruby's letter of 5th Aug, 
yours of 22/8, and one from Reg
Bennett.  Reg has sent a Xmas 
parcel early in August. He is a 
fine boy and I am sorry you
do not know him well.
             Ruby's letter is a long one, well
written and quite the best I have yet 
had from her. I shall answer it
in a day or so.  I am sorry 
you were worried over me not getting
the money you sent me in June
until six weeks ago. I have told
you the Banks notification went astray,
and that the girl at the Bank told
me no money had arrived when I 
called there on several occasions.

 

                                               5/

Girls as a whole are most unreliable
clerks and responsible for a lot of
trouble in this respect.  I am 
pleased to hear that Jack Draper
called, and hope he will visit you
again.  Sgt. Kinsman did not
manage to get home.  He is at 
present in the Pay Office at No 4
Command Depot, Hurdcott, and we
correspond regularly.  I don't 
remember Les mentioning Capt. Houghton
to me, but no doubt he was one
of his many friends.
            I was very reluctant to cancel
my allotment and was more than 
sorry when I found that you had
sent the money, which would have
obviated such a step. Still dear
Mother if you can manage it
will be better than you sending 
money periodically. I shall have 
sufficient now without you sending 
any more, and may be able to save
some as well.  I had no idea
that the fact of Les having no 
allotment interfered with his pension.
It will not matter in my case, as
I shall not be in any more danger, 
and hope to be safely home by
next Easter.

           I have learned that Les left

 

                                       6/

a will in your favor. He must 
have accrued about ₤180 deferred 
pay.  Is it not lamentable that he 
was not spared to enjoy his well-earned 
money and to appreciate
once more a peaceful life under
the old conditions? Harry must
have a good bit of his money,
and I suppose you will be
getting that also.  I hope to 
goodness you insist on getting
every penny of it too after the
way things have turned out. I forget
whether I told you that I wrote
him a long letter a couple of
weeks ago consequent on his leaving

you, and telling him all that I
thought about him and Essie also.
Whatever you do, you must not
be softened by any circumstances
whatever, and let him have any
of it.  It would not be fair to
poor old Les, whose views I know
so well on this point.  I think 
it is well for Harry  Les did not 
get back in this respect, for his 
conduct would need a lot of 
explaining.   You need not mention 
what I have written to him though,
for no doubt it would hurt his feelings.

 

                                  7/

I am writing to London to get a 
photo of Les's grave, which I shall send 
you when it comes to hand.
        I have just had a note from
Kinsman saying he is coming here
today from Hurdcott.  I hope he 
will be able to get here in the Pay 
Office with me.  He is a fine 
chap and the best of company.
        I had a number of snaps 
taken at Ilfracombe, and should
they turn out alright I shall send 
you some.  It was too dull for  
much photography though.  You 
mention having your photo "took"
in your letter of Aug 22nd. I hope
you will be sending me one.
The Doctor sent you a parcel of
White Leather some time ago. It should
reach you shortly.  He was very 
pleased with your little presents,
which I am sure he will treasure.
His room at Westcliff is one mass
of war photographs, - all his soldier
friends.  Les seems to be his
favourite and his photo and mine
are together in a prominent position.
He has a fine enlargement of that
group of Carrie Grubb, the Misses Fairfax,
the doctor, Les and two other officers.

 

                                       8/

I obtained several other photos of
Les and the doctor on my last visit
to Westcliff.
      When I met Les in London
about twelve months ago he got
three photos of himself from me, 
saying he wanted to get some
printed from them.  He did not 
return them to me, so probably
they will be sent home with his 
effects.  They told me at Hdqrs
that everything likely to be of any
sentimental value, which he had in his 
possession, would reach you in 
due course.  You will understand 
that I am quite unable to get any
of them on account of my not being
mentioned in his paybook or at 
Hdqrs.  I am doing my best to 
locate his trunk, but have not
been successful as yet.
        I got a "Bulletin" and "Argus"
both dated late in August, a few 
days ago.  They were addressed
to Fred Juergens (London address).
I am pleased I told you to 
write to that address, as it is 
much the quickest and safest.
He sends them on to me immediately.
You will meet many of my friends 
"aprės la guerre"  Most of them have

 

                               9/

my address, and I think they will 
visit me whenever they hit Melbourne.
        I sent a bundle of music 
to Ruby from Ilfracombe a few
days ago.  I hope it arrives O.K.
I shall send some to Gertie
shortly also.  I am pleased 
that both have stuck to their 
music.  I feel on awful "dud" 
at not being able to play or sing.
I cannot help the latter disability 
of course, but I regret not being
able to "manipulate the ivories".
        I wonder if I shall be home 
for next University Year, and if
I shall have sufficient courage to
start again?  It is a matter of 
'Conjecture', I am afraid.  I feel
I should like to get into a
business, failing that. The prospect
of being a paid clerk all my
life worries me a bit.
         Did I ever tell you Les and 
I had decided to go on the land?
We did so on talking of home one
day whilst strolling in London. At
the time I could not picture myself
holding the plough handles or sitting 
behind a reaper and binder, but I
 

 

                             10/

though I might install myself
in the business somehow as a 
sleeping partner, - feeding the fowls,
or something easy like that.  But 
I think a man must be born
a farmer, like everything else.  It
seems to come easier to me to work
with my head than my hands, 
and it seems to me I have done
so through most of this war.
     Do you wonder when I am 
going to finish off this letter?  It 
resembles macaroni to one somewhat, 
all chopped off short and in little
pieces.  Still I know you are
an indulgent correspondent, and
will not criticize my composition.
I worked yesterday 14 hours, being 
the last day of the month.  Today is
slack, and I am writing letters
instead of working.
          I must finish off now though 
and do a bit more.
Best love to all, and don't 
forget to keep smiling!

 

             Your affectionate son,

                                     Jim.

 

                                                                  No. 1 Command Depot,
                                                                             Sutton Veny,
                                                                                         Wiltshire,
                                                                                                          11. 12. 18

My dearest Mother & Father,
       Today i have received your letters of 30/9,
16/10 and 27/10, thanks to having them
sent to Fred Juergens, and although 
I am always awaiting them and
look forward to them from mail to 
mail, at present I almost dread to 
open them for the fear of having some
bad news.
        I know too well what a fearful shock 
you have received, and that it has
come as a climax to several years
of almost continual worry. It is too 
much to expect a mother or father 
not to grieve, but I sincerely hope
you will bear up against this stroke 
of adversity and say as I have
heard many French Mothers mutter
when several sons had fallen
"mort an champ d'honneur" "C'est
la Guerre, c'est la guerre". It is
enough to know Les lives in heaven
as surely there is such a place
of God's creation.

               I am sorry to say I have not
 

 

                                      2/

yet any immediate prospect of
leaving for home.  You may rest
assured I am leaving no stone 
unturned by which I may achieve
my greatest wish,  which is to 
return and try to comfort you 
in your trouble.
        I do not wish you to forget 
Les or the greatest of all acts 
of love and self sacrifice in laying 
down his life for his country,
that we might live, but I pray
that God will strengthen you to
bear your burden of grief the better.
      I often lay awake at night
and wonder if in time we shall
forget, forget those who lie asleep,
who did not live to see that
great day in our lives, which 
we have all recently celebrated
and hailed with joy, but which 
through all those black, dark
days seemed too wonderful for 
realization.  I fear that Harry 
already has forgotten, or else did 
not, at any time, realize how nobly
Les was "carrying on" never murmuring against 
hardships and bitter disappointments.

 

                                     4/                              [*Pg 3 MISSING*]

seen by others.
       What a horrible thing it is to think 
of such discord in a family of the same
flesh and blood!  Consider a man, who 
lavishes the money entrusted him by
a brother who is risking his life that
he the other might enjoy his life of security and 
prosperity.  And then thanks he gives, 
and the consideration he shows, to his mother
when he achieves a position in which he
can afford to go away, after being helped
along when things were not too bright.
        These are some of the things which must
be explained.
        They are granting us ten days leave
at Xmas or New Year.  I shall try to 
get over to Rouen if possible. It will
probably be the only opportunity I shall
get of seeing St. Severs Cemetary.
        I wrote to Ruby, Gertie and yourselves
a day or so ago, so there is not 
much news left to tell you. Bill
O'Brien leaves for Weymouth tomorrow and will
soon be on his way home. Jack Barry, 
Dick Maher and I did him "bon voyage"
tonight.
                  Much love to all
                                      Your loving son,
                                                                      Jim

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