Demobilisation

Extract from WW1 letter dated 6th March 1919
From David Henry Taylor in Sheerness to May Muggridge in Beckenham
“My darling,
… the battalion in the meantime had gone off to Rugeley … I had to report to Headquarters at 12 o’clock but it was only give in my name … I cannot get any sort of information as to what is happening with regard to the demobilisation business … I went along this afternoon to see if I could get anything out of the demobilisation officer. He said that demobilisation has not yet started again. It stopped on February 15th, the day after my application went in …”

Dispersal camp

Extract from WW1 letter dated 27th March 1919
From David Henry Taylor in Sheerness to May Muggridge in Beckenham
“My darling
I really have good news today … I trotted off to get my papers, as I thought, from the demobilisation officer, but he said that everything was ready for us to go but he had to apply for vacancies at the dispersal camps … My name with a list of others (there are 12 in all) has been put up in the mess to hold themselves in readiness for early demobilisation … When tomorrow’s orders are published this evening they may say that we are to go tomorrow, but of course they may never come round time for me to let you know …”

Waiting

Extract from WW1 letter dated 5th March 1919
From David Henry Taylor in Sheerness to May Muggridge in Beckenham
“My Darling,
… The battalion is going to Cannock Chase tomorrow morning, but I am remaining here, together with a number of other officers … I have found out that they have started demobilization of officers again & six are going off tomorrow, so “the country looks better” as you said it would & I am beginning to hope again … I am back in my old billet & got down here & did everything quite comfortably … No time for any more as the post is going … Darling, Give me one more”

Nothing to do

Extract from WW1 letter dated 15th February 1919
From David Henry Taylor in Sheerness to May Muggridge in Beckenham
“Darling,
This morning I went & saw the doctor & that is the total amount of my day’s work … He said my heart was strained a little, but that was nothing very serious … From what I can hear I am attached to a Company having a crowd of officers & no men, with the consequence that there is nothing for us to do … I went for a walk along the sea front this morning after seeing the doctor, but I did want you, & the only thing I could do was to sit down & read your letter again …”

Home again

Extract from WW1 letter dated 24th December 1918
From David Henry Taylor in Balham to Ginger (Ethel Linn) In USA
“Dear Ginger,
I am home again, as of course you know by this time … we were not the first prisoners to get home by some thousands. It started in Holland, as soon as we crossed the border there was a continuous string of small children & people along the railway & all tinkling tiny bells & yelling, as the train passed … Here in London people seem willing to do anything for you if you are in khaki … And now for my news … May & I are going to be married …”

The Day

Extract from WW1 letter dated 11 November 1918
From Charrington in London to Ethel Linn in USA
“THE DAY”
Dear Mrs Linn, Only time to say thank God the fighting is over … Guns went off at 11 o’clock, everyone cheered, traffic stopped & it looks like 10 Lord Mayor Shows … I saw several American Navy Boys opposite Cannon St Station dancing with girls who had made their hats out of union Jack flags… At the Mansion House you see dense crowds & thousands of small hand flags….”