Click on original letters for larger image
Sudbury’s brother Joe did not remain in the office. By the autumn of 1917 he was in Burton hospital with trench fever, but recovered and was transferred to the Rifle Brigade, then the Royal Army Service Corps.
The following letter to Herbert Sudbury Smith from his friend W. Sansom was written while he was on guard duty:
On Active Service2nd May 1915
My dear Spuds
Your cheering Epistle arrived quite safe this morning, and your very smartly addressed envelope was the envy of our boys. At first they wondered who “Bill Sansom” was, but needless to say it did reach me alright. I know what courting is Spuds, and as you seem to infer, it takes up a lot of time. Now my dear Spuds my present position whilst writing is very novel. Well you see I am on guard tonight, I have got a good thick cushion, which later on in the Evening will serve as a good mattress, for a pillow I have got a petrol tin and am as comfortable as a pig in “Shush”. I am going to do the “Bart Kennedy” Act tonight sleeping under the stars, and I shall be alright don’t you bother. Zeps or no Zeps tonight I shall sleep alright, but it is rather a long shift from 4.30 this morning until 5.30 tomorrow night, that’s what I am supposed to do. But I think it will be bed for me at 6 tomorrow morning as after 5.30 Roll Call tomorrow morning I shall be minus, my mate will drive tomorrow. Well Spudlets I don’t reckon much to your objections, but still you are alright, and as you may not be an expert Motor Man which we are all supposed to be I would not trouble the “M.T.” Ours is alright, but I would not care to be transferred into another company, ours is the original Comical Transport, and is absolutely the best on the Market.
I had a letter from the girl saying that they had two Colwick chaps billeted on them, I don’t know their names, but if they are as good looking as you with parting etc. I shall be beginning to think I stand a chance of being run off. Eh what Spuds. It is a beautiful night as I am writing, and when I have finished I am just going to have forty winks, and then from 10 to 12 I shall be calling out “Halt who goes there” etc. Oh we do the job properly. Well I have really no news, as you say English News is alright, but every morning I see train loads of wounded. Yesterday I saw two R.A.M.C. chaps get a chap off the train, he was wounded in the head and side and the clumsy ——– dropped him.
Needless to say he was placed under arrest.
I saw some Germans today under English Escort.
Excuse more now. Write soon.
Sincerely Yours always
PS Morning’s arrived, nothing out of the ordinary has occurred.
It is now 4.00 and the singing of the Birds is a treat.
Excuse this very poor letter, but I am writing under rather awkward circumstances.