Information supplied by Judy Corble.
This is a transcript of a letter sent via the Army Post Office on the Western Front from my Grandfather Joseph Ormond, to a friend of his, George Plant of Shireoaks, Belper.
In answer to your welcome letter and thanking you very much for the fags I was pleased to hear you were about well again and I hope you will continue to keep up to your usual standard and also your wife and children. I am in the best possible condition myself I never was better and am quite comfortable at present only of course you know there are times when I feel a bit sick of it all and should like to be right away out of it still I expect that is natural as I miss my wife and kiddies a great deal at times and then you know with having them ill it made me a bit anxious about them all yet I am pleased they are a lot better. Dear George I was rather surprised that Jack has left you I daresay he never thoroughly fastened to his ganger and I believe he is out of work at present my wife will miss her R T’s now as it was very convenient for her to get one through him I hope you are getting on alright with Cassy and I hope you can still put up with him I should not like to hear of you doing what Jack as done I know it doesn’t go down very well with you, but you must put up with it a bit longer. Well George I am afraid things are not getting on quite so fast as we should like them too and it really seems to me as if we were simply stuck but I hope for the sake of a good many that it will not be long before we are all back. Colt ? Calt? Is just as much trouble as ever to me he is on his own to-night as I have such a lot of letters to get through and money is very scarce so it is not much use gadding about. Tell Tommy I am still waiting for a line from him I know he is not much for letter writing but he can easily get one of the girls to write for him. Now I don’t think I have a great deal more to say to-night to you so I will conclude with best wishes to all and kindest regards to your wife.
Your sincere Friend
[Joe was bricklayer on the railways prior to the war and I think he is referring to building teams when he talks of gangers. I think the R T’s are rail tickets. He was based at Belper Station. He served in the 110th Railway Construction Coy and then the 308 Road Construction Coy. He was a Quartermaster Sergeant and enlisted in London in 1914, embarked for France & Flanders in March 1915. He was wounded in 1918 and narrowly escaped further injury when the field hospital he was in was attacked; he managed to dash out of the far door as the Germans burst in. He served until de-mob in 1919. He lived in Milford, but refused to have his name on the Memorial’s Roll of Honour as he felt the names should have been listed in chronological order of when the men went to fight and not alphabetically.]
Belper in 1914
Belper in 1915
Letter to George Plant
© Belper in Wartime