Bordon Camp: “Let us all pray that we may all meet in a happier place when all wars will have ceased”

“D” Company, 9th Roy. Irish Fus., Martinique Barracks, Bordon, Hants, England

My Dear Mother

I received your parcel allright. Many thanks. But indeed I did not expect what you sent, and I am sorry that I passed the remark that I had no stamps, for I think that you wanted and has need of all the money that you get. And my saying that I had no stamps did not mean taht I wanted you to send me any money. But indeed I never thought of the likes: so you might not have thought that I would be angry at you for sending me any more. So you know your self that I would not be angry no matter how little you would send. All I was angry at was you sending any at all. I got the paper it must have been sudden about old John MacCormick was he long sick? But he was an old man. I had a letter from Jenney this morning she says that she has been very busy since she went away from home. I am writing to her also today.

Well dear Mother I may as well tell you the truth: all leave is cancelled, so there is no chance of us getting home again before going out. Which I think will not be long now about the 20th of the month. But I hope this will not make you any worse than what you all. You knew it would come to it sooner or later. So it need not come as a surprise to you any more. And if I do not have the Good Fortune to come back again, let us all pray that we may all meet in a happier place when all wars will have ceased, and there shall be no more trouble or sorrow.

But let me get away from this as it will do none of us any good. And what ever happens let us hope it may be for the best as we are all in a Good Man’s Hand and he knows all our hopes and fears. But thank God if I do not come back all belonging to me can hold their heads up for I have done my duty and shall do so no matter what it may cost me so youse will have nothing to be ashamed of.

This is a lovely part of the country and is great for Route Marching. You would never feel tired on the road.

There is about 20 shops in the village of Bordon which is about 5 minutes from camp and a Picture House. Of course there are all the camp stores built for the men in camp here. The range here was made by German prisoners. And this camp was opened by the Kaiser[?] but I think I told you that before.

I must draw to a close as I am going on duty tonight.

Good bye and may God Bless and take care of youse all
I remain
Your Loving Son
John Adams
P.S. You might send me Lizzies address as I would like to write to her.

Bordon: “We have arrived here safe but tired”

Postmark: Bordon, Hants, 24 September 1915

Dear Mother

We have arrived here safe but tired. I would not do the same journey again for any money. We arrived her at 5.30 on Thursday. Hoping youse are all keeping in good health. Will write later on, excuse this in haste.

J. Adams

Postcard shows High Street, Bordon. A row of shops on the right, with a hairdressers in the foreground. Trees stand on the left of the road, on which a number of men loiter.

150924 Bordon 02

150924 Bordon 01

You can see the same place on Google StreetView.

“Good-bye, Mother Darling”

No date or postmark. Presumably included in a letter, or posted in an envelope. The inspection by the King mentioned in the cards took place on 30 Sept 1915, a Thursday, so this puts the date of this probably at the beginning of that week, perhaps Monday 27 September 1915, and his location at Bordon, Hampshire. He landed in France, as indicated in the cards, on Monday 04 Oct 1915.

Card 1: “Good-bye, Mother Darling”

Dear Mother,

Just a PC in answer to your letter and card which I received alright. I am sorry this is all I have time for now. We are just in from a rehearsal of the march past which is to take place on Thurs before the King, when he is going to inspect us. The place we have to go to is about 9 miles from here and it rained the whole way home on us, so you may expect we were wet. But we may be worse off before long so we need not complain. Well I got back alright but it was an awful journey. But I sent you a P Card the night we came across. I do not know how it was you did not get it. But I did not post it myself, so that may account for it.

Card 2: “Good-bye, Mother Darling”

I also wrote to Jennie, but she may not have got it either. I hope Jimmy got back alright from the main line. There was a lot of people there that night. There will hardly be as many to see us off to France the day we go away. But then we are leaving England and not Ireland. I will write to you after Thursday but I have not time now as we are gearing up for the Review. I want Jimmy to get them photos as soon as he can as I would like to have them before we leave here. I expect we will be clear of this place on Monday. But I do not [sic] if it is the [Tuesday?]. I think this is all now.

I remain, loving son [sic]

J. Adams

150927 Two cards 02

150927 Two cards 01

Postcard 1 shows:

“Good-bye, Mother Darling (1)
Mother Darling, I must leave you, there’s a duty to be done;
At the front the battle’s raging, won’t you spare your only son?
From your eye a tear is falling, Mother, have you nought to say?
Bus she bowed her head in silence – ‘twas the price she had to pay.”

A young man, in a civilian suit, bids farewell to his aging mother as he goes to join up.

Postcard 2 shows:

“Good-bye, Mother Darling (4)
Good-bye, Mother darling, good-bye, you make it hard to part;
Battles may rage in the days to come, one takes place now in your heart
Twixt your love and duty, for England is calling your son.
There’s a parting at a cottage door, a battle now is fought and won. “

Mother and son embrace outside the cottage door as he, now in uniform, leaves for war.