13 April 1916

Extract from the diary of Lt William Batty, (Liverpool) Regiment

[Lt Batty joined the Territorial Army in the winter of 1912/13 and was a rifleman in the 6th Bn, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment.]

“Birthday dinner”. Among the parcels I received was one from my father from a Liverpool shop containing (in tons) a dinner of five courses for six people. The company mess at that time was five, and to make up the number I asked Alfred Styles the signals officer to join us. During the afternoon he and I walked round the village of Sailly, which had suffered a little from shellfire, looking for some beverage suitable for the occasion. We tried a small grocery shop whose broken windows had been boarded up and found a pleasant middle aged woman in charge. She was one of two sisters who, since they had nowhere else to go, were loath to leave their only hope of a livelihood and so stayed, chancing death, for a few francs a day. When she heard what we wanted she produced two bottles of Veuve Cliquot ’06-dry – and a small bottle of liqueur (Benedictine I think) for all of which she thought herself handsomely overpaid with 24/-. We had a very jolly evening and found that champagne could be quite enjoyable drunk out of enamel mugs. There is no entry for the next day so I suppose we had a day without event. These billets were further from the line so we were not troubled to the same extent by demands for working parties.

 

Letter from John Moore, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

My Dear Parents,

I am truly sorry in not having sent a letter before now, in acknowledgement of the beautiful parcel you sent me last week, truth is I have not had too much time to spare lately, the parcel arrived while in trenches & you bet it was a Godsend, I like those Jordan Cakes & Biscuits very much, you mention in your letter did 1 receive sweets in one of the parcels, I did I forgot to mention the fact, I enjoyed the Chocs in the last one too also nuts, it was well packed & arrived in about 3 days from sending. I get them safer & quicker in the line than I did in hospital. Nearly all the old 9th have been on Pass, so I expect to go any time now I dont care how soon for the Kiddies sake & Marys, I am longing for a bit of holiday in Yeadon now, still keeps cold out here, I still feel weak, especially when carrying pack. I feel sorry Mary as to do the removing alone, if I had been at home I could have soon got the stuff away. Well of course I can not tell you when I shall be coming but I am trusting it will not be long. Thanking you kindly for the nice parcel I will conclude by sending my best love to all.

Your loving Son John

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