Cheerful mood

Extract from WW1 letter dated 19th Feb 1917
From May Muggridge to David Taylor
“…went on to No 56 where Mrs Taylor was watching for me in the window, and I got a most hearty welcome from her and Peter. I have never seen Mrs Taylor looking better, and have never known her in a more cheerful mood…One of the first things she said was ‘I have sent my boy 3 parcels, and am having such cheerful letters from him each day…Maud was also highly delighted at hearing from you…Your ears did ought to burn ferociously…Mrs Taylor got up.. then we drank tea and talked.. ‘Did David tell you he wanted me to be engaged to him before he went away?….I said No, as he has quite enough responsibility just now as it is, to which she replied…no wonder he is so cheerful’.

Interfering old general

Extract from WW1 letter dated 28th March 1917
From David Taylor BEF France to May Muggridge in Beckenham
“….When you are especially busy and have some particular thing on or perhaps the Germans are giving some trouble you will suddenly get a message asking how many rounds of ammunition you have, or how may picks and shovels…An interfering old general, the chief of our little lot of generals, came along and found the captain of another company without his belt and promptly went for him right and left…we have since had a special order…that all officers are to wear belts. It is so important you see, even though you can’t get a decent wash. I have just had a wash and shave in water taken from a shell hole. This water is always somewhat muddy, but a wash is a wash…”


Extract from WW1 letter dated 4th April 1917
From a soldier in the B.E.F in France to Ethel Linn in USA
“Dear Friend, Just to let you know that I have received a issue of cigarettes from the Over Seas Club Tobacco Fund of which you have been subscribing to…and I thought it was my duty to write and thank you for helping us lads through the Great Campaign…” Stretcher Bearer Groves 11466, 16 Platoon, D Coy, 2nd KRR, British Ex. Force, France

Special training

Extract from WW1 letter dated 26th April 1917
From David Taylor BEF France to May Muggridge Beckenham UK
“ ….According to the latest rumour we are to have at least 3 more weeks at special training and probably more, not necessarily here but probably somewhere further along the line…We have been given instruction that we are to salute in the one and only proper manner and any poor beggar of a rifleman whom we meet in the street in this way, or isn’t dressed just so is to be hauled up before the colonel and shot at dawn. I expect I shall be looking at something very interesting in the opposite direction when there are any men who don’t salute properly….we had a march past for practice. I suppose there is an inspection by some general or other looming in the distance. I have marched past many times before but always in the ranks, this being the first time I have had to march past at the head of my own platoon, and you feel awful lonesome out in front there by yourself with everybody watching you as you go by….”

General of Generals

Extract from WW1 letter dated 28th April 1917
From David Taylor BEF France to May Muggridge Beckenham UK
“….This afternoon the brigade sports have been held, all four regiments taking part of course. Our own General was there and also our own particular General of Generals. This last gentleman is known throughout the division as Frosty Face, and is noted for ‘strafing’ anybody and everybody about everything. I have only come in to contact with him once and that was on the road. Three of us were discussing the work and how a certain drain should be dug. He arrived on the scene suddenly, told us we should not be talking together and ordered us back to our men. He’s a darling….I am very glad you had a good weekend. It is good of you to go and see Mum as often as you do…”

Bert Muggridge

Extract front WW1 letter dated 3rd May 1917

From David Henry Taylor, BEF France, to May Muggridge in London

“I am very sorry to hear Bert has moved up again, but this may not necessarily mean that they are going into the fighting line. Anyway, try not to worry Dear, he will be fairly safe now that he is signaling…”

Extract from WW1 letter dated 20th May 1917

From (Sgt) R. S. Hepplethwaite to David Henry Taylor in France.

“Dear Sir,

I am in receipt of your letter … instant re Pte H. G. Muggridge and am afraid … he was killed in the German Lines and three or four men in his platoon say that they saw him lying dead…”