Letters

Arthur sees General Joffre, talks about damage at Senlis and Creil, hears the guns at Soissons, doesn't enjoy drinking Champagne …

 

La Ferté sous Jouarre

 

Thursday February 18 , 1915

My Dear Mother,

We got here last evg. 6.30 p.m. from Beauvais via Senlis & various other places. It was very interesting & one saw a lot of damage at Senlis done by Germans & some by English in getting the Germans out of the town last Sep. We came through Creil where bridges were all blown up & temporarily repaired & several houses there destroyed. At Senlis we could hear the guns quite well at Soissons which was being bombarded. All there went to lunch bar me, as I had bread & chocolate with me, so waited by car & talked to various people who always want to know where we are going. While standing on road General Joffre drove by, rather luck seeing him, a soldier who knew his car & him told me who it was. Others very sick at not having seen him. 

 

This place is on the Marne & of course bridge blown up. Everyone most amiable as they say the English saved them & the town. French were hard pressed & outnumbered & suddenly 30,000 English arrived & drove out Germans along the Vitry road which we walked along this morng. A nice quiet little town. 

 

We go on tomorrow about 70 or 80 miles to Vitry-le-François, 119 kilometres, then 118k to Neufchâteau a night there, then 88 to Cheniménil near Épinal where we are to be for a bit. Wet yesterday, fine today & mild. We came through Meaux yesterday, an interesting old town with fine church. Roads very fair to very good. Car ran well. 7 of us billeted here, nice little hotel & kindly people. Cars all over the place! Some of us have to turn out for night duty with cars, 3 hrs. on a watch all night.

 

One can hear the guns here. Should have gone on today, but 2 cars being repaired & in this zone one must all travel together, they pull up every 20 or 25k & see that we are all together. 

 

Goodness knows when we shall ever get letters, suppose when we get to our base. Just off for a walk. We had parade at 8-30 a.m. & see to cars. A Frenchman here insisted on our drinking champagne with him last night, rather a bore, to Armie Anglaise etc. & we had to get a bottle & drink to Armie Francais & so on & so forth, result I did not get to bed till 11 instead of 9.

Best love

A.

Our chauffeurs are quartered in a large house on the place where Bismarck stayed in 1870. Town is in a hollow & river Marne divides it. Very quiet & little light in town at night

.

 

 

World War One News:

The Manchester Courier, February 19th 1915:

 

“The third convoy of British ambulance cars dispatched by the British Ambulance Committee for service within the French lines has left Beauvais to begin operations under the military authorities. The journey from London was accomplished without mishap, not one of the 30 cars falling out en route.”

 

Sample Of Arthur's Letters Home from World War 1 - February 1915

Read and answer

1- Who wrote the letter. ?...............................

2- Date of the letter.......................................

3- Who is it written to ? …..................................

4- Where is it written from ? …................................

5- What did the author of the letter do before the war ?.............

6- What does evg stand for ?........................

7- And sep ? …..............................

8- Why wasn't he allowed to have lunch with the others ?...........….......................................

9- What did he do instead ?...................................................

10- Who did he see then ? …..................................................

11- How did his mates react ?............................................

12- Where is La Ferté sous Jouarre situated ? ….........................

13- How are the people there ? Why ? Justify.............................…...................................................

14- What does he think of La Ferté ? Quote the text ….................…..........................................................

15- What is their final destination ? …..............................

16- What are the roads like according to him ?Quote the text.....

…............................................................

17- What do they have to do at night ? …................................. 

18- What can they hear ? …............................................

19- Why are they delayed ? ….........................................

20- What did he do this morning ? …..................................…............................................................

21- What did he do in the evening ?.......................................

22- What time did he go to bed ? …..................................

23- Did he enjoy the champagne ? Justify by quoting the text …..…..................................................................

24- How does he end the letter ? …........................................

25- What does the A stand for ? …........................................

26- What sort of convoy is he part of ? …...................................

27- Where did they start ? ….....................................................

28- How many cars were there ? …................................

 

 

Côté britannique

 

" Letters "

 

Arthur Dease had a global circle of friends and contacts. He travelled the world before and after World War 1 and of course his parentage and upbringing ensured he mixed with the highest levels of British society at home and abroad.

Arthur was very well connected and knew a huge number of people, and in the year preceding WW1 travelled all over the world, consequently his letters are very useful for family history and genealogy research as well as military and social history.

 

Arthur was a prolific writer. The letter below dated 7th February 1915 is typical and was in an envelope together with another dated 10th February, many other envelopes contain more than one letter. Some of the letters are shorter than this one.

Page 1,7th Feb. 1915 Pages 8 et 9,7th Feb. 1915 Last page,7th Feb. 1915