Additional letter to Jack

This is a letter that was included in the bundle of Harry's letters. As it is contemporaneous with Harry's and, clearly, has some link, I have included it. I believe that the writer was killed almost a year later.

No 11/1141, No 4 platoon

A Coy, B.E.F. France

May 30th 1917

Dear Sir,

Youre kind and welcome letter dated May 22 to hand and many thanks for your interest in me. It certainly set me thinking at first until I read further into it and then it became quite clear how you got in touch with me. I am trying to carry out my part in the contract and hope that I may be successful. Your very nice and cheering booklet of which I have had very similar copy I have passed on to a young friend private W. H. Adams who is in the same platoon and company as I am and he is very much taken up with it. He was delighted with it. I have had quite a considerable number of letters and textbooks and so on from the headquarters YMCA and must say here how the work of the above is appreciated by the boys in France. Am very pleased to hear that my mother was very well, also I sincerely hope that you keep in the best of health as I am at the present. I will now draw these few lines to a close hoping that this war will soon be over and all the boys get back to blighty myself to Newland and settled down at our respective peaceful occupations. so again thanking you for your kind wishes.

I remain

yours sincerely

H. Bentley

"Newland" is, I believe, in Hull, Yorkshire. I think that this could well be the author of this letter. Any confirmation? I believe that Jack was attached to the Anglican Church there. Has anyone any record of John Lamin in Newland 1917.

The Arcadian

The Arcadian was a Royal Mail ship that was employed as a troopship and ammunition carrier. She was torpedoed and sunk in Mediterranean 15th April 1917 by a German submarine. 601 troops were on board and 75 of those perished.

Harry mentioned it in his letter to Jack on 13th May. It is interesting to consider how the information about it may have got to him.

Letter to sister Kate

13th May, 1917
Dear Kate

Sorry I have not written to you for such a long time no doubt you’re being wondering how I am getting on. I should have wrote to you only have been so busy always something to do never any time to spare. I am in the best of health at present the weather here is very hot. We had a good voyage across the channel it was very calm. I think we are going further up the line tomorrow so can’t send you my proper address. I shall send it on to Ethel as soon as I get it so you can write for it. I have had some are moving about what bit I have been in the army. First I was attached the York’s then the South Staffords and West Yorks now I think I am settled in the ninth Batt York & Lancaster so you see I have had some moves. Write as soon as you get my address and let me know how you are getting on. I wrote to Jack and he seems to be getting on alright. I will write again as soon as I can.

With Best Love
from Harry

Arrival in France.

(No day included in the date but possibly written on Sunday 13th along with the letter to Kate)

May 1917

Dear Jack

Just a line to let you know I am alright and that I have landed in France. The weather here has been very hot. Not at all a bad sort of place. There is a pretty town about two miles away on the coast but it is out of bounds. This is my address we have got to put it in the middle of our letter. I don’t know why. 33502 Pt Lamin West York Reg number lines 33rd IBDAPO section 17 BEF France. No doubt you have read about the Arcadian going down. Well the draft to Mesopotamia which I should’ve been on had it not been for my teeth, was on it. I have heard from one that was on it. he was in the same hut as me at Rugely. I think they were about all saved. Write as soon as you get this letter as I should be going up the line of next week and perhaps get to a different regiment so write

yours truly