C.F. Haswell Bayly to Harold Bayly 1918

Harold was probably staying with his Aunt Charlotte Rawlinson (nee Bradley) and Uncle William at Cartmel. He was 15 when this letter was written.  His father, Haswell, was in the Royal West Kent Regiment, Volunteers (the future "Home Guard in WW2). He was in charge of the Power Station at Slade Green for the Southern Railway, a vital job during wartime.

“Thule” Pelham Road


17th July 1918

Dear Harold,

    I was very pleased to get your letter and to read of your successful shooting. I can quite imagine how delighted you felt both in the result of your patient waiting and careful aiming, an in taking them home ot show Aunt.  There is a lot of pleasure in this and it is quite harmless so long as it does not become careless and cruel.  Whatever you shoot always take care not to cause prolonged suffering, see the poor thing is killed at once. I hope you are careful to have the ground behind, so that if you miss from any cause the bullet will not go flying you know not where. Rather let a good chance go than run any risk, for one accident would spoil all the fun. I will try and bring some more cartridges.

    A letter came from Cham. of Com. with the result of the exam which was as you had been told. They state that the certificate will be sent to Clarke’s if you entered from there.

    You will be sorry to hear that Rob Nielsen has been wounded again, but it is better than being killed.  Enclosed is a letter from him.  You might write to him, also to Aubrey.

    I not e the jobs which you mention want doing and will bring the tools necessary. Let me know of any particular jobs Aunt & Uncle think of.

    We have been having plenty of rain lately and two heavy thunderstorms.  The rain has done a lot of good.

    You will have to buck up old chap Jack Prangnel has had a shave because his moustache was getting so long.

    On Sunday the Volunteers are going over to the Purfleet ranges for Field firing.  It will be both interesting and exciting as it will be just like over at the front, except that there will be no enemy to fire at us.  We are going to make an attack from trenches on enemy trench, going over the top in extended order.  The enemy in the form of disappearing targets will keep on bobbing up to fire at us from their trench, we shall fire at them with ball cartridge till we have killed enough then charge and take the trench, bayonetting all the enemy (sandbags).  Outposts will run forward to shell holes and fire away at retreating enemy while rest consolidate the captured trench, reversing the parapet & repairing it. Then we are to make a further attack, crossing a stream by a single bridge as hard as we can run. Plenty of fun, eh?

    Best love to Aunt & Uncle,

    Write again, 

    Your loving Dad


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