Radcliffe on Trent WWI Letters
Private Tom Flower, who served in the 1st Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters, and the 9th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters was a regular soldier who enlisted in 1912. He was wounded twice in France: in May 1915 and again in November 1917. He was hospitalised in Manchester in 1915 and St Bartholomew’s, London, in 1917.
The letters below, courtesy of ournottinghamshire.org.uk, were found in the bottom of a set of drawers after a house purchase in Radcliffe-on-Trent.
In 1915 Tom was allowed home to Radcliffe on sick furlough from Manchester hospital. While at home Tom received the following letter from the Commanding Officer of the Sherwood Foresters Depot, Derby:
To No. 11787 Pte T. Flower
The Medical Officer i/c of Manchester Hospital having reported to me that on the termination of your Sick Furlough on 19.6.15 you will be fit for Light Duty.
Enclosed please find a railway warrant from Radcliffe-on-Trent to Sunderland, to join the 3rd Reserve Battalion of your Regiment.
You should report yourself to the Officer Commanding, 3rd Battalion Sherwood Foresters by Tattoo on the 19th June 1915, or otherwise you will be treated as an Absentee, and render yourself liable to be arrested by the Civil Police.
The Officer Commanding, 3rd Battalion Sherwood Foresters at Sunderland, has been notified that you have been issued with a Railway Warrant and should join his Battalion on the above date.
Copy of War Office letter:- No Extension of Furlough will be granted. You must report yourself as directed.
J N Reets Lt Colonel
Commanding Depot “Sherwood Foresters”
The letters below were sent to Thomas while he was in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital; the first from his sister, the second from his aunt, copies of the original letters can be seen below.
Just a line to let you know we arrived home safe & the dog is going mad. Mother is glad to hear you are coming home but is sorry to hear about your arm, but I tell her there is plenty worse. Mother had quite made up her mind to come in the new year but she is pleased because she won’t have to come. Let us know how you go on & when you will be coming home & then somebody can meet you.
best love from all
56 Bolingbroke Road
Just a line hope you are improving by now. I am sending you these few things which I hope you can have. Shall you get Home for Xmas do you think.
Shall be pleased to hear from you soon
Kindly remember me to all at home when you write. With fondest love trusting you will soon be out of hospital again
Your Loving Aunt
Another letter is sent to him at Barts Hospital from a friend from the trenches who appears to have thought very highly of his bravery during the Battle of Aubers in May 1915. See a copy of the original letter below.
Same old address 19.12.1917
Just a few lines in answer to your most welcome letters and P.C. as I received a good while ago but I have answered them but got no answer from you for a good while and I am wondering what is happening to you, well Tom I am pleased to tell you I am in the pink and all the boys are allright in the old Platoon and they all wished to be remembered to you and wish you the best of luck and hope you do not come out here again for a year or two and Cpl Mellor wishes to be remembered to you and also Pte. Shaw and we are pleased to tell you we still keep going into the line and we have not had our rest you know. 6 weeks we have never been out of the line long together since that last stunt as you was in old sport so cheer up we are winning not ’alf.
Well Tom I have not heard from you for a long time so write and let me know how you are going on as I want to know.
Well Tom the Company Sergeant Major you know him he got the D.C.M. and Sergt Utley M.M., Cpl Waters M.M.L Cpl Kidger M.M. and you know cheery nose Brown he got the M.M. and Cpl. Greaves in A Coy V.C. how is that old sport. I see you have got sweet —- all never mind you earned M.M. or D.C.M.
Well Tom this (is) all this time
from your Old Chum
Pte. Wright J.W.
T’ OLD 9th