Migration, Memory & Memorial

1917 March

Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to the British Newspaper Archive.



Farmers and Supplies

Remarkable scenes were witnessed in various parts of the country on Saturday, many of the vegetable markets, green grocery stores and shops being unable to cope with the public in their demand for potatoes. The crisis has come sooner than most people expected, and the blame is being largely put on the farmers, whom, it is alleged, are holding up supplies till the beginning of April, when they are allowed to charge another £1 per tonne.

There were no potatoes to be bought in Covent Garden on Saturday. One merchant declared that he had nine trucks all holding six tons of potatoes filled and ready for delivery, but they were held up on the rail and he could not say when they would reach London. Another prominent merchant said he had bought and paid for a 1000 tons. They should have been delivered weeks ago, but an embargo was put upon them by an official, with the result that their destination was unknown.


Farming experts declare that the country is faced with the probability of a whole month in June without potatoes. Then in July there will be only a limited supply of early crop owing to the lateness of the season. The Lancashire potato trade is still at a standstill. Growers affirm that practically all the potatoes in the extensive growing districts of West Lancashire have been impressed by the troops, but merchants, while admitting a serious shortage, state that farmers are holding what unimpressed stocks they possess until April for the extra £1 a ton.

The unusual sight of a policeman guarding the exterior of a greengrocer’s shop was witnessed in a busy South London thoroughfare. He stood at the head of a long queue of potato purchasers and directed the operations of serving out the supplies. Would-be purchasers assembled outside this shop at about 9 o’clock, and as the day wore on their numbers increased until at noon there was a crowd of women and children, four deep, extending along the pavement for nearly 50 yards.

Scotland is also feeling the pinch of the shortage, and at Glasgow and Govan the women telegraphed to the Food Controller complaining that 2s and 2s 4d per stone was being charged instead of the government regulated price of 1 shilling 9 pence.

Westminster Gazette

Monday March 5 1917


Reaches Roye, 130 from Ypres

The latest British official message shows that our line has been extended as far south as Roye, which is about nineteen miles south of Peronne, so that the British front from Ypres to the point named now covers a distance of about 130 miles.

The week-end has again been fruitful of successes, both north and South of the Somme. Saturday’s official message says that our troops made further progress north of Puisieux-au-Mont and east of Gommecourt, and our line advanced an average distance of a quarter of a mile on a front of nearly five miles. The enemy offered a stubborn resistance.

Yesterday’s official report says that our troops captured the enemy’s front and support lines east of Bouchavesnes [north of Peronne] on a front of 1,200 yards, taking 173 prisoners and three machine-guns.

East of Gommecourt our troops advanced along a two-mile front to an average depth of 1,200 yards.

The result of these enterprises is that we captured a total of 190 prisoners, five machine-guns, and two trench-mortars, and penetrated into the enemy’s defences near Gommecourt about a mile.

Londonderry Sentinel

Saturday, March 17 1917

Russian Revolution.





The story ot the Russian revolution against the intrigues ot the pro German party at the Court is told on page six. Below are the messages received yesterday giving the latest particulars regarding the exciting events of the week:

Petrograd, Thursday. – For some time it has been evident crisis was approaching. The prices of foodstuffs for the poor were generally prohibitive, and people had to stand many hours in a very low temperature to obtain bread.

Popular demonstrations had been decided upon on Saturday, and the police warned the inhabitants not to leave their houses. In other words, food demonstrations were suppressed with iron hand. The people were not deterred. The troops and Cossacks were warmly cheered, and were on the best terms with the people. Some of the Cossacks cheered back, a truly eloquent sign of the times, which the authorities failed to read. The principal news this evening that the Czar is expected to arrive at Tsarskoe Selo, whither several regiments with artillery are reported to be marching. Despite the non-appearance of the newspapers the public is kept fully informed the distribution of printed bulletins.

M. Kodzianko has appealed to the people not to injure Government buildings, telegraph wires, water supplies, factories, &c., and to avoid bloodshed. The food problem is being energetically tackled. Large stores of flour have been discovered concealed various parts of the town.

The Czar’s reply to the Duma is impatiently awaited.

The Premier, Prince Golitzin, and M. Protopopoff. Minister the Interior, the Ministers of Justice and of the Court, and a number of other officials and ex-Ministers have been arrested and brought to the Duma. The majority have been released, but M. Protopopoff and the Minister of Justice are among those detained. The factories are forming a militia force.

An inflammatory revolutionary manifesto issued by the Social Democrats and the Labour party is not likely to produce much effect in the present serious temper of the people.

Thursday Evening. – The Grand Duke Nicholas, commanding in the Caucasus, has telegraphed that, in agreement with General Alexeieff, he asked the Czar, in order to save Russia and successfully terminate the war, to take the only step possible in the present fateful circumstances.

Calm has been quickly restored in Petrograd, but a number of partisans of the old partisans of the old regime continue to fire on the troops and the people. Soldiers are rooting these out from roofs and attics. The Executive Committee of the Duma has arrested Prince Clink Howsttoy, ex-Minister of Commerce. When the arrest of General Sickhomlinott, ex-Minister of War, was ordered the soldiers demanded that he should be surrendered to them. They were calmed on being allowed to tear his epaulettes off.

Thursday, 11.50 p.m. – M. Milinkott, the new Minister for Foreign Affairs received the special correspondents the Duma to-day. “The problems we are going to solve,” he said, “consist in the re-establishment in Russia of a power capable of giving the people final victory over the enemy. The great crime of the late Government consists in the fact that it threw the country into complete disorganisation and subjected it to the hardest trials. The then state things might have had dangerous effects on the issue of the war. The anger of the people was such that the revolution was almost the shortest and most bloodless in history. The Duma was the centre of an immense moral force.”

The Czar, according to the latest news, is a Pskoff, and the Empress remains at Tsarskoe Selo.






Petrograd is celebrating victory quietly. The streets are full, but the crowd is orderly. Soldiers are drilling, and the palaces and public buildings are draped in red.

Newspapers appeared for the first time this morning. Nearly every sheet contains congratulatory references to Free Russia. Poets are busy composing verses on the same theme.

The Jews, who receive full rights of citizenship, are enthusiastic about the change. The abolition of the Pale and the admission of Jews into Russian brotherhood will strengthen the financial position of Russia.

From Moscow it is reported that the workmen have returned to their employment, and it is expted that the tramway service will be resumed on Tuesday.

Prince Yousupoff and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pawlovitch, whose names are mentioned in connection with Rasputin’s removal, have been allowed to return to Petrograd by order of the Minister of Justic. – Central News.


3rd March 1917

To Abraham from Jack

Dear Father

I have just received your letter and am glad to read that you are all well. I am in very good health myself, too.

I don’t feel like writing a long letter today, but I will send you a longer one on Sunday. The weather is beautiful now, and truly it will be a pity to leave Devon. We don’t know at all where we shall be going to. It might be Salisbury Plain, on the East Coast. But I hope I shall soon get leave, and be able to see you.

As I wrote you, I got another month of light duties. To get this I have got to see the doctor, naturally. But I manage it alright. I am having a nice time down here, and have nothing to complain of, whatever.

Don’t delay writing about the appeal, or it will be too late. Do you draw 10/7 every week now?

I am glad you are working at the Globe Wernicke.1 It is a good place, and very near. I hope the pay is alright.

I will answer the other points of your letter on Sunday. I am too lazy to do it now. Send me some Feurilles litteraires when you can, and write me a long letter on Monday, if you can’t do it on Sunday. I think I know where Enfield Road is. Is it a good place for a tailoring shop? I will write to Harris and uncle soon. Tell me when you get any news from Louis.

I am jolly glad Leon is keeping you all cheerful I’d like to see him and mother and hope it will be soon.

With fondest love and many kisses to Leon mother grandmother and yourself.

Your loving son

4th March 1917

To Abraham from Jacques.

Dear Father

I am in good health and hope you are all the same. I sent you a letter last Friday; very likely you have received it. Consequently I have no news to relate. Everything is as usual, except the weather. It is raining all day now and it’s monotonous not being able to go for walks.

I hope I shall get a long letter from you tomorrow, telling me lots of things, although you are like me: you have no news to write. Send me some Feurilles litteraires if you can get them. Do you want those you sent me back again? If you do, I’ll post them on to you. As things are at present, don’t send me any cakes for ‘Pourim’ 2. Sugar and everything is scarce, and if I want anything I can buy it here. There is a shortage of potatoes in Devonshire, same as in London. They don’t sell more than 2 lbs at the time, and even the army is short. I read in the “Dispatch” that it’s the same or worse in London. How do you manage for all these things?

Tell me how Leon is getting on, how mother is, etc… I have absolutely nothing to tell you about myself. I enjoy myself alright, and work very little. The Medical Board is due this week, but it might be postponed once more. We shall soon be moving out of Newton, in a week or two, I suppose. Everything is ready to move off. I shall not apply for leave until Easter, when I may get 10 days. It will be time won’t it?

The war is very interesting now, like a game of chess, in fact. Each group makes moves and counter moves. Germany gets ready to attack America through Mexico. Not a bad plan, is it? In France it seems that the big English offensive has miscarried because the Germans retired to soon, so that there was nobody to attack when the time came. But the battle is near and it will be terrible, I am sure. I believe there is a great chance of the allies breaking the German line. It seems Germany is losing strength. The loss of Kut, 3 the retreat in France for a few miles without battle, as signs of it. What do you think of all this? As to peace, there doesn’t seem much chance of it, is there?

Don’t forget to send the appeal about the allowance, and also to write me if you hear about Louis. I don’t think he is on the Somme or on the Ancre. The division his regiment is in is engaged on the line between Ypres and Lille, further north. I know, because the 2nd/6th is there, and the 2nd/6th and the 2nd/7th always go together in France.

I suppose you have got plenty of work at the “Globe Wernicke”, but if it keeps on, I am afraid there won’t be much wood left for you to work with. Besides I do say you heard about the new order, that makes it impossible for anyone to get a new job.4 It is a dirty trick, isn’t it? What do they say about it in London?

Write me on all these points, I’d be glad to know.

Give my best regards to all.

With fondest love and many kisses to mother, Leon, grandmother and yourself.

Your loving son

5th March 1917

To Jacques from Abraham

Dear Jacque

I received your letter of Friday and that of Sunday and am glad to heare that you have nothing to complain about.

I could not write to you yesterday as I have told you, I had a job to do for Mr Schwartz. It is a nice shop in a nice neighbourhood. Not Enfield Road as I told you, but Northfield Avenue. He will open the shop next Monday.

I received a letter from Louis today and am sending it to you. My sister received one as well. I don’t know yet what he writes to her as I did not see her yet. I will call up when I will go to post that letter.

The weather is getting cold again and this morning when we got up we found London all white with snow. It is a good job we have coals now as they brought us half a ton of coals from the company last week. Just 2 days before I had to go to Westbourne Park to fetch 3 hunderd waight of coals. I hope we will have enough for the winter now.
I could not see whether there are some feurilles on Sunday as I had no time to pass to Notting Hill Gate. You know the reason but I will pass one evening this week if it is nice weather. If I find any I will send you. If you can send me back Bourbouroche5 I want to read it as I saw it playing. I will send you to morrow or on Wednesday some Pourim 6. cakes as mother bought already everything it is nessecary for making it. I would like to know whether you can keep them for a week or two without being pinched away as you will not be able to eat them up in one day or two. If you like to treat any body with these cakes I will be glad to send you enough for that.

I am still busy at Globe Wernicke7. I think there is nothing to be troubled about shortage of wood while working at that place. I suppose of what I can see, that there is still wood left for another 2 or 3 years to work of, especialy when there is so few workmen left in that place. The new regulation of restricted trades hinders him to take in new workman even if he could find any. So the stock of wood will last still longer.

This trick in restricting trades seems to me not so bad as you think. It seems to me rather the cleverest thing a stateman has invented since they started to invent things to restrict the life and habits of the people.

This regulation affects the employer as well as the employee, and as it ties the workman to his employer because he can’t find another job if he goes away. So the employer is tied to his workman, and he cannot sack him, he knows he will not be able to take on another workman in his place. The workman has more advantage in that case, because he can always find a job at the national service’s whilst the employer when he loses a workman he can’t have another one.

It is also a good way to catch recruits for National Service and a very clever way. There are many employers who are forced for one reason or another to give up theire workshops, and all theire employees will have to fall in consequantly to the national service as well as thousands of workmen who cannot agree with theire employers. You see it is not compulsion, but it becomes compulsory as soon as one quits his place.

Surely the war is very interesting now and it will be more interesting a little time latter on. We shall have many surprises and emotions.

Now my dear Jacque I shall finish my letter in telling you that we are all in good health and we wish that Easter shall come quickly to enable us to be together for a few days which I hope it will.

With fondest love and many good wishes I am your loving father Abraham B.

Best love from mother, grandmother and Leon

6th March 1917

To Abraham from Jacques

Dear Father

I am in good health and hope you are all the same. I am rather surprised not to get a letter from you today but I hope I shall get it tomorrow. I have nothing new to write about myself, everything being as usual, and my only reason to write this letter is because I promised you to.

I sent you a letter last Sunday, and there has been no change since then. The weather keeps on raining and warm, nothing glorious about it. I am doing the same as usual, and enjoy myself very well indeed. I have got now enough money to do it.

About moving out of here, there is still no news. There came last week an order midday to get ready to move out at once. Rumours began to fly, rumours of German landing, of going to France, etc… There was excitement in the air. All the trained men got orders to get ready at once and report with full kit, rifle, blankets, rations and munitions. In the meantime, the rest started shifting the cases of cartridges to the station, and the rifles and the stores. It was lively, I can tell you. But all this was only an alert, just to see how quick the regiment could be mobilised. It took exactly 70 minutes, a very short time indeed, when you come to think of it. If all the other regiments are as quick you can see that in case of a German landing it would not take long to get all the troops together.

But one thing is sure, we shall be moving shortly. I am going to enquire about Easter leave, to which I think I am entitled.

I hope baby and mother are getting on well. I expect baby is now beginning to understand a little what’s going on, and this is the time when babies are interesting. I hope I shall be able to see you all soon in the meanwhile don’t worry about me. I am glad baby is keeping you all cheerful, but really there is no need whatever to worry about me. I find the army much better than I expected it to be, and have nothing to complain of. Of course, leave is a different matter, but is nobody is granted leave, there’s nothing to say about it.

I will write you another letter on Friday, I think, but in the meanwhile I expect I shall receive a letter from you.

Give my best regards to all our friends.

With fondest love and many kisses to Leon, mother, grandmother and yourself. Your loving son


9 March 1917

To Abraham from Jacques

Dear Father

I am in good health and hope you are all that the same. I have just received your parcel and want to thank you very much for the cakes it contained. They are fine, I can tell you, and there are plenty of them, too. You can be sure I shall enjoy them greatly. Don’t forget to tell mother that I like the cakes very much. I don’t think you need send me any more though, because these will last me a long time, and I shall only share them with a pal or two, and as they also receive parcels, they share with me, and we always have plenty. I always have plenty to eat, but as the army don’t supply with suppers now, (to save money, I suppose) I have to buy mine every night. I get fried potatoes and fried fish or bread and cheese, or whatever I fancy. You understand now why, after this, and buying a few more things, and spending money and washing, etc… 4/6 don’t go very far in a week. Anyhow I manage alright. I have everything I want down here and live a peaceful and agreeable life. I like the place and sometimes I go to Torquay if I want to see a London play or good pictures. On these occasions it affects my weekly budget greatly, because the fares are 1s/2d

I don’t intend to write a long letter now. The one interesting news today is that I passed the Medical Board today and was marked C3 (service at home – sedentary) as clerk, or storemen or anything else. I need hardly say that I am glad of it. I am safe for the duration of the war, unless another Board marks me fit again, or give me my discharge. I would have got my discharge today, if the Colonel had not interfered and said that I could be useful to the Regt. So instead of discharging me, they marked me C3, the lowest on the list. I don’t mind that, and I hope that I shall be finally discharged by the next Board. Anyhow I am going to keep up my methods, which are excellent, to judge them by the result. I am sure you will be as glad as I am. No more training for me now. Besides I may get transferred to London or to a munition factory.

Let me know the date of Passover, I want to apply for leave them. I daresay I shall get it.

I got your letter and Louis’s the other day. I will reply to it, and write you all about myself and the Board, and sundry other things, on Sunday! In the meantime, don’t forget to write me a lot, tell me how baby, mother and yourself are going on, and many other things besides.

Give my best regards to Mr and Mrs Schwartz and family. I know Northfield Ave. very well. What part is their shop. Is it near the station or nearer the Uxbridge Road? Are Mr and Mrs Schwartz moving out of our house, then? Give my best regards to Harris, Simmy, Aunt Perel, and all. The success of my enterprise is due mainly to his cigarettes, and I’d like you to send me another 50 in 10 days time if you can. Give my best regards to Auntie and Uncle Davies, Annie, Joe and family.

With fondest love and many kisses to Leon, mother, yourself and grandmother.

Your loving son

11 March 1917

To Abraham from Jacques.

Dear Father

I sent you a letter last Friday night, to tell you that I received the parcel all right, and enjoying it, and to inform you that I have passed the Medical Board and got marked C3 (sedentary work at home). You see I was not far wrong 5 weeks ago when I told you I might have good news to tell you. It is true that I expected to be rejected, and I would have been, last Friday, if the Colonel had not interfered. As it is, I am quite safe, and am almost sure to get my discharge on the next Board, in a few weeks time. My methods are good, to judge by these results. The Medical Board consisted of 4 doctors and 6 officers, and the examination was the same as I had in London. The Board declared me unfit, but the colonel said that some work could be found for me, and I got marked C3. I don’t know yet what I will have to do, but I will write you as soon as I know. I am in excellent health and feeling much better than I did in London, you may be sure of that. There is no need whatever for you to worry on this subject. I am certain you will be glad to learn that my training is now completely stopped, and I cannot be trained again without the consent of another Board. There is a chance also for me to get transferred to another regiment as clerk, but we shall know more in a week or so.

I am having a lovely time down here. The people of this town are very nice to us, the council give a concert or two every week especially for us, and very nice concerts too, with the band and good music. We had yesterday evening a concert given by the Unionist Club, and it was jolly. We had cigarettes, beer and limonade given us free of charge, and altogether I had a nice time. Sometimes I go to Torquay, to see a London play, or with a pal, we take some walks round the town. The scenery is lovely, hills all round, and woods and valleys. From one hill near, we get a fine view of the sea, 6 miles away. We brought some field glasses, and the view was beautiful. I go sometimes to my old billet, to have a cup of tea. There is also two YMCAs to pass the time away, and the public library, where I can read the London papers. I told you before what my training is. It is not necessary to explain in a letter how we managed to have a lovely time during training hours and how we do it, but the fact is there, that I have never had such an easy time in my life as since Christmas. I’ll explain you all this when I get home on leave, and what my methods are. It is too long and imprudent to write it in a letter.

I want you to let me know the exact date of Passover, so that I can apply for leave, to which I think I am entitled. Let me know at once.

I have no special news to write. We still get good food, and I have nothing to complain of, except the weather. It was fine and warm the whole of last week, but last Wednesday turned cold once more, and when I woke up on Friday, 2 inches of snow were on the ground, and it was very cold. However it melted very soon, and at 12 o/c it was nice and warm once more, and the sun was shining brightly. But this did not last very long, unhappily, and since yesterday it keeps on raining. What kind of weather have you got in London?

I am glad you have plenty of coals now, I hope it will last you through the winter.

Write me a long letter in the middle of the week, about a lot of things. It is not a reason because I have little to write that you should do the same. Tell me how you are all getting what baby is doing. I hope to see you all for Easter, though, and we can have a nice time together.

I got your letter in the middle of the week, and Louis’s. I am glad he is getting on well and he has found a safe job in the RAMC (Royal Medical Corps). If he can keep it, he’ll be all right.

I am feeling too lazy to write any more. If there is anything special you want to know, write me about it, and I’ll tell you. Let me know if you heard anything new about the allowance, and how is work, and pay, and living generally. Is there a shortage of food in London? Down here potatoes are scarce, and eggs, but the army has got plenty of potatoes, though.

Tell mother I am greatly enjoying the cakes. They are capital A1, really. My only regret is that I am not able to be in London to enjoy them together, but the time will soon come, I am sure.

Give my best regards to all our friends. With fondest love and many kisses to Leon, mother, grandmother and yourself.

Your loving son


12th March 1917

To Jacques from Abraham

My dear son Jacques

I received your letters from Friday and Sunday last and I am glad as well as mother and grandmother to heare to result of the medical board. It is strange all the same for parents to be glad of a result of an examination by a medical board who found theire son not “fit” which means, not in good health, weak, or may be heart disease or consumptive. In civil life we would be very much upset of such a result and now we are glad. We must only hope that the medical board was mistaken and you are profiting of it.

We are very glad that you are enjoying yourself and we heartily wish you to continue in that way.

I am very sorry to tell you that I am afraid you will not be able to come on leave for Easter. I have read in the Jewish ‘time’, that the Jewish commite asked the army council whether the Jewish soldiers will come home for Easter and he answered that they will not have leave this year because of shortage of trains and he said it was not faire that one group of soldiers should have leave while the others haven’t. It will be a pity if it is true. We shall have to try in some other way. Passover falls on 6th of April or on Good Friday. We would like you very much to come for Easter.

Did you receive my letter of Friday last in which I enclosed a letter from Barney?

I received “Bourbouroche”. I could not go to Notting Hill Gate to see if there was some “Feuilles” there as it was pouring every evening last week and on Sunday I went to the east end to buy some wood as I want to make a bed for Leon. I bought some mahogany venir, bandings and inlaid and I will make a nice bed for him for Easter. I will start to morrow. I will work every evening and saturdays and sundays and I will finish it as quick as possible.

Food is getting scarece in London and potatoes is not to be found and when there is a shop in which there is some potatoes so there is a line of men, women and children waiting outside eager than at the “Empire” and they get only one pound of potatoes each. When I saw this it remembered me a picture I saw how the French people standing in line waiting for theire rations in time of siege. I am afraid another few weeks we shall have to do it for bread.

I will send you 2/- on Wednesday. You should be able to enjoy yourself.

There is no news from Louis yet, since last week but they are used to it.

We are all in good health. I am pretty busy. Leon is getting on all right enjoying us. That is all I can tell you about ourselves. Mother is very glad you like the cakes and she would like you also to taste her cooking once more. I hope you will write me a long letter and if there is news of your appointment in some occupation you will let me know. We wish you luck in that way as well.

With best love and many kisses from all of us.

Your loving father

Abraham B.

14 March 1917

To Abraham from Jacques

Dear Father

I have just received your letter of yesterday and was glad to read that you are all doing well you may safely rejoice in the result of the examination, I can tell you. It is not necessary and might be imprudent to explain why in this letter. But you will know all about it when I come home, sometime next week I expect.

I hope you got my letter of yesterday, in which I told you I got my discharge, but was not certain yet. I am sure today I went to sign the papers and fill the particulars necessary. So, unless at the last moment, something happens, I shall be home next week sometime. I do say you can patient a few days more to be told all about this. Consequently will you send me at once my best suit (trousers, waistcoat and vest) a collar, stud, tie, and a cap in a registered parcel to reach me here as soon as possible. I hope you have still got a suit of clothes, or otherwise it will be very awkward. If, by hazard, it should happen that my discharge got cancelled, I would send them back. But this is most unlikely. The army will supply me with a pair of boots, a overcoat, and I shall have all my kit free (underclothing, brushes etc…) Besides I shall get 17/6 for the suit, my weeks money and some discharge money. But as I shall only get this at the last minute, I am glad you are going to send me some money it will come in handy to me.

I have little news besides to tell you. I am in excellent health and hope to see you soon.

I will write you another letter tomorrow if there are any news to tell you. Don’t forget to send the clothes as soon as possible. But I am afraid they will be somewhat short for me.

The weather is frankly bad now, raining without a stop since Sunday, but it is very warm, though. We smell spring in the air, and it is lovely, after such a cold winter. Potatoes are scarce here, although they are getting ready for next year. All the fields round here are ploughed especially for potato-growing, and there will be plenty of potatoes the next crop.

Don’t forget to do what I ask you and don’t worry in the least about me. I know what I am doing, and you can be quite rested on this subject.

With fondest love and many kisses to Leon, mother, grandmother and yourself.

Your loving son


A bientôt

14th March 1917

To Jacques from Abraham

Dear Jacques

I have just received your letter and you can understaind how glad we were in hearing of your discharge.

We are all waiting with impations the time you will come.

I will send you to morrow morning your clothes.

I have sent you this morning a letter registered with 2/–. I hope you received it.

I don’t see much to write now. I am to excited and I can’t write. I am sending you our best love and wishes for a prompt revoir .

Your loving father

Abraham B.

15 March 1917

To Abraham from Jacques.

Dear Father

I have just received your regd letter, the 2/- and your letter of yesterday, and am glad to read you are going to send me the clothes. I hope they’ll fit me. As I wrote you, I went to sign the papers relating to my discharge, and unless something extraordinary, (such as War Office order cancelling all discharges or a Govt order) happens, I shall be home sometime next week. Then I can explain you everything. I may go home tomorrow Friday if the papers come through in time because once signed by me, they go somewhere else to be countersigned and registered, etc… and we have to wait until they come back, which may be any day. We are about 10 of us going home together.

I have little else to write. Everything is as I told you last time. The weather is now beautiful and sunny and warm, it is really “sunny Devon”. I am having a nice time down here, and truly, I shall be a little sorry to leave this place. It is been like 4 months holiday to me.

I hope to see you all very soon.

With fondest love and many kisses for Leon, mother, grandmother and yourself.

Your loving son


16 March 1917

To Abraham from Jacques

Dear Father

Just a few lines to let you know that I have received the parcel of clothes alright. So far I have had no more orders about going home. It may be any day now, most likely next Tuesday. As I explained you, there are certain formalities to go through first.

I am in good health and hope you are all the same. I have little news to write, everything being as usual. The weather keeps on fine, and I enjoy myself quite well, going out for long walks in the country.

The town is a little excited about the news from Russia. It is time, isn’t it, for a revolution. But what effect will it have on the war? Here, they seem to think it will help us a great deal. I think it will bring a great change in the war, don’t you think so? Otherwise in France the allies seem to be doing well, and there is a German retreat every day.

I will write you another letter on Sunday, if I am still here. I am too lazy to write any more now. With fondest love and many kisses to Leon, mother, grandmother and yourself.

Your loving son


18th March 1917

To Jacques from Abraham

Dear Jacques

I am sending you these few lines to let you know that we are all in good health and are waiting with impations to see you at home again.

I received your letter, and we are glad to heare that you are enjoying yourself.

People in London are very much excited about the revolution in Russia especialy the Russians. It was realy an impossible thing which was accomplished. I am confident that now they will go with big steps to theire emansipation and it will not be long till they come in the same steps as all the nations of Europe.

The British have done as well a good thing last week in capturing Bapaume8. They have got it at last! It seems that the chances turned on the side of the Allies.

I am going to finish this letter because I am tired. I have been working the whole day on the bed of Leon as I told you. I want to finish it for Easter. So I am sending you our best love and good wishes and we hope to see you in a few days time.

Write a letter before you go if possible and buy some picture post cards of interesting places of Newton Abbot.

Best regards of all friends and they are very glad indeed to heare that you come home.

Your loving father

Abraham B.

A bientôt

20th March 1917

To Abraham from Elise

2157 Mapes Ave., Bronx

Dear loving father

I am anxiously awaiting a letter from you and Jacques. Please write one as soon as you can and tell me how you both are getting on. How is it in England now? Are you having bad times?

How is Jacques? Is he still practising to be a soldier. Ben received a letter from Annie and she said Jacques looked beautiful in his khaki. Please send me a photo of yourself and one of Jacques. I have sent mine a week before this letter and I hope you have it.

Dear father I am sending Jacques £2 under my name Elisa B. to you Abraham B. and I made a mistake I sent Jacques £2 5 or 6 weeks ago but I don’t know whether you have it or not. Tell Jacques not to be stingy with this money and he should have a good time.

I heard that uncle Solomon’s son was at the front. It is more than heartbreaking that a family should be broken that way. I wish that he comes out safe.

I haven’t much to write but that I am in good health and wish you are the same.

With love and many many kisses

I am your daughter,


PS. Tell Jacques not to be stingy with his money and have a good time. I will send some more soon. Instead of that address I gave you it is Notting Hill Archer St. W. I do not know whether it is near you or not but I think it is.

March 26, 1917

To Elise from Abraham

My dear daughter Elisa

I can tell you very good news. Jack has been discharged from the army and he expects to come home every day. As you can see in his letters which he wrote to me. I hope that you will be glad of it as well as I am.

3 days ago I received your letter which you sent to Jack in which you told him that you were sending him some money. That letter arrived in a very bad state. All open and washed by big seawater with a note “damaged by seawater”. As I did not find any money or money order inside so I thought it was lost but to day I received another letter which you wrote to me with the money order. It arrived as well in a bad state damaged by seawater. Most likely it went by some ship which was sunk but the mail was saved.

Now my dear child I thank you very much for the money you have sent to him. It came just in time when he may want it when he comes home and before he finds a job. But I asure you that I would have sent back the money to you, if he was not discharged because as I told you he was not in need of it when in the army.

My dear Elisa I am very sorry to tell you that you will not be able to have his photo before the war is over because I have sent you 14 weeks ago in uniform and it was returnd to me by the censor stating that no photo or picture post card is allowed to send to neutral countries. You see you have no chance now to have his photo or mine before the war is over. It is a pity but we can’t help it but you can send yours which we shall be very glad to have.

I am very glad to hear that you are going on fine in school and that you are learning French. It is a nice and very usefull language. If you will succeed in learning it, it will bring you sometimes pleasure besides use.

I am in good health and have plenty of work. I am not in….

The rest of the letter is missing.

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