Pridham 21 April 1918

Letter sent from France by CSM Lawrence Pridham to his Uncle Will date 21 April 1918. The tone of the letter is much more sombre and somewhat fatalistic.

Although he thanks Will for this parcel which included socks, he also talks about the superstitions that “creep up” on a “long stager”. He explains how the Sergeants tossed for who would go out on a patrol and that he was lucky not to win that toss – this time. He pines for home a bit and wonders for the first time in the letters of this collection, whether in fact he will ever make it home.

Note also the different envelope which requires him to sign a declaration “that the contents of this envelope contain nothing but private and family matters” and thus was not subject to the Regimental censor.

Click on any page of the letter to see a larger image.

Page 1 of a letter from Lawrence Pridham to his Uncle Will (called Bill here) sent from France 18 April 1918
Page 1 and 4 of a letter from Lawrence Pridham to his Uncle Will (called Bill here) sent from France 21 April 1918
Page 2 of a letter from Lawrence Pridham to his Uncle Will (called Bill here) sent from France 18 April 1918
Page 2 and 3 of a letter from Lawrence Pridham to his Uncle Will (called Bill here) sent from France 21 April 1918
Envelope cover of a letter from Lawrence Pridham to his Uncle Will (called Bill here) sent from France 18 April 1918
Envelope cover of a letter from Lawrence Pridham to his Uncle Will (called Bill here) sent from France 21 April 1918

____________________________________________________________

France
April 21/18

Dear Bill,

Your welcome parcels dated Mar 14/18 to hand a very pleasant visitor in the middle of the night after a strenuous time. The socks were at once changed and my stomach come second, so with the tea that our man had made for us down in our wartime dugout we enjoyed the contents.

I am glad you got the picture. I assure you my feelings do not correspond with my looks in the least.

I would write more letters if it were not for the uncertainty of a man’s life here. You know I am an old stager now and superstition begins to creep up a mans back and he figures he cant come through it for ever the same way. Canada looks good to me. The weather has been quite a treat to what it was this time last year.

Things are humming just now and I guess you get more news than we do right here so it would be useless for me to try to tell you anything. I received a bundle of papers a week or so back, I guess you or Phil sent them. Thanks.

So you are a regular old hockey wheez now Eh What. Well three of us tossed up just at this moment to see who goes on a big raid. The odd Sargent goes. We tossed. I tossed lucky. Canada stil looks better for the next few hours. Oh Well such is the strain on life in this damnable game, so you can see, writing up to about five minutes ago was kind of a heartless thing till we tossed again.

I can only say Bill that you folks have been damn good to me in this strife. Please excuse my adverbs, etc. but thats the way a man expresses himself deeply in this game. Well here’s luck. Love and regards to all. Hoping to hear from you soon again.

I remain
your affect
[initials]

____________________________________________________________

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"In Pace Paratus – In Peace Prepared"