Blaber Letter

Letter from Private Albert Blaber July 8th 1916

Lord Derby’s War Hospital, Warrington, Lancashire

My own darling Rosie, I am further away from home than I was when I was on the firing line but thank god I am on the right side of the water, darling I can hardly believe that I am in heaven, for only those that went through the alful fight on Saturday July 1 and the next day, could describe what I mean by coming out of the gates of Hell.

Which battle did Pte Blaber fight in?

 I see that our regiment is mentioned and we deserve it, for we had heavy losses. Our division lost over 8,000 men, we were mown down like corn by Machine Gun fire and shell fire, our dead lay in front of our barbed wire in hundreds. I shall never forget the awful sight.

How far had the attack advanced before it was detected by the Germans?

Or Brigade, the 88th were the third line to go over…..we suffering heavy losses and the Germans shot any amount of our poor wounded men, that got our blood up, so we spared neither  wounded or otherwise after we saw what happened.

What does the writer mean by ‘blood up’ and how did it affect the men of his regiment?

I was wounded on Sunday night while bringing in the wounded and up to yesterday I only had a temporary bandage on We looked awful sights when we arrived at the hospital, for I had not had a shave for 15 days and not even a wash, and my clothes was covered in mud and blood, and I also was lousy as I could be. We were packed like sardines on the hospital boat as there were hundreds still waiting in France.

What does this tell you of the medical provision available for British soldiers?

I have not a penny in the world to help to help myself with. Can you send a 2/- (10p) Postal Order if you can spare it for I can manage with that then I shall be able to get some stamps….. I wish little Lily a happy birthday, I am sorry I shall not be able to send her a card as I have no money. Perhaps you could send her one, and say it has come from daddy. Remember me to all at home.How well do you think were soldiers looked after by the army whilst recovering in hospital?.

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