Extracts from WW1 letter dated 4th November 1915 from David Henry Taylor in Balham, London to his sister Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA.

“Earlier in the evening a passing man said to me, « Another Zep raid tonight » …. Then almost immediately two more booms, it struck me that it might be Zeps …. Then there was a burst of firing and I saw my beauty just coming from behind some trees. It was really a beautiful sight, a large cigar shaped bar of silver, floating along, shining in the light of search lights ….”


Extracts from WW1 letter dated 4th November 1915 from David Henry Taylor in Balham, London to his sister Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA.

“I have been round to look at some of the damage …. Then bomb in Chancery Lane fell in the road just outside Stone Buildings, by the Safe Deposit, smashed all the glass around, knocked lumps of the stonework off …. It has blown out all the glass on two sides of the building …. It cracked two of the walls… The explosion ripped the whole thing from end to end, leaving just the roof trusses bare.”

Joining the Army

Extract from WW1 letter dated 28th Dec 1915
From David Taylor to Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA
“…I don’t know if Mum has told you that I have joined the Army. I have joined up under Lord Derby’s scheme and shall be called up with my class….I had also joined previously the London University Officer Training Corps Engineers Unit and I am now down at Kensington being instructed in the gentle art pf “strafing” Germans….Some while ago I thought of applying for a commission direct and after much trial and tribulation I gave it up on Mr Rushbrooke’s advice…He pointed out that I should be responsible for the lives of the men under me and that we had already lost large numbers through young officers being incompetent…”


Extract from WW1 letter dated 28th Sept 1916
From David Taylor to Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA
“…It is rather remarkable that I discovered quite by chance that my Captain is a member of the T Square Lodge and that there is another man in the next hut who is also a member there….Here in the camp they have just instituted two new ideas. One is that 120 men are served out with rifles and ammunition and have to be ready with equipment and food to be sent anywhere to guard any Zepps that may have been brought down. The second is that another 90 men have to be ready to go off to hold down any Zepp that may come down in a damaged condition…”

Hare Hall Camp

Extracts from WW1 letter “Date Unknown, Year Doubtful”

From David Henry Taylor in Hare Hall Camp, London to his sister Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA. “At 6.30 physical drills until 7 …. Breakfast 7.45 consisting of porridge, boiled bacon, bread and margarine (if you are lucky) and marmalade (if there is any left) …. At 8.30 parades, which may be squad drill, platoon drill, company drill, or forty other kind of drill …. Lunch from 1 to 2 o’clock … Parade at 2, which may be trench digging, map reading and drawing … Dinner at 5 pm… At 6 o’clock parade for a lecture until 7 …. We have to be in bed at 9.15 … lights out at 10”

David leaves for France

Extract from WW1 letter dated 6th February 1917

From Fanny Taylor (David’s mother) in Balham London to her daughter (and David’s sister) Ethel Linn in USA.

“My darling Ethel,

Just a line to tell you David started for France, he went off bright and early and it’s a beautiful sunny morning, he is very well. Hoping you are well and will be kept from harm.

With fondest love from your loving Mamma.”