Extract from WW1 letter dated June 1917

From a soldier in David’s platoon on the Western Front to David’s sister, Ethel Linn in USA.

“Dear Miss Linn,

Many thanks for the smokes sent by you. They were appreciated very much … I suppose you wonder who on earth this can be from. In that case, Lcpl O.W. Greary … Was the fellow that enjoyed your cigarettes and please accept the best thanks and wishes …”

David is missing

Extract from WW1 letter dated 12th July 1917
From Edward Campbell to Fanny Taylor (David’s mother)

“Dear Mrs Taylor,

I am afraid that I cannot get any news of your son. The last seen of him was in Bn.H.G in the line … I have hopes that your son was taken prisoner, but I can lay out no hope … He was a most gallant officer and one where friendship was worth having … I deeply regret his loss … It is hard to say…”

Wounded and Missing

15 days after she received a letter from Edward Campbell about the disappearance of her son, Fanny sent a letter to her daughter with good news … David is alive!

Extract from WW1 letter dated 27 July 1917
From Fanny in Balham to Ethel Linn in USA

“My darling Ethel,

I see in this week’s Weekly Times … that David is a prisoner in German hands … I do hope they will be kind to all of them … I am fairly well … Hoping all is well with you all …”

Unfortunately, Ethel receives another letter from her mother three days later with a bad news…

Extract from WW1 letter dated 30 July 1917
From Fanny in Balham to Ethel Linn in USA

“My darling Ethel,

I feel so sorry, we had the paragraph in the Weekly Times wrong … So as far as we know he is still wounded and missing … So I must wait … But in my own thoughts he is killed … The box of chocolates I sent to David on the 6 of July has been returned marked Missing … I know I am not the only Mother who son is gone …”

David is Prisoner

One month after the official disappearance of David, Fanny receives a telegram from Geneva (Switzerland), she quickly wrote to her daughter to tell her the news.

Extract from WW1 letter dated 5 August 1917

From Fanny Taylor in Balham, London to Ethel Linn in USA

“My darling Ethel,

Last evening I received a telegram from Geneva Switzerland saying Lieut David Taylor reported prisoner Karlsruhe. RedCross … Now dearie we must try and look on the bright side, and pray that all will be kind to David …”

May to David PoW

When May knew that David was a POW (Prisoner Of War), she started to send letters to him about her daily work.

Extract from WW1 letter dated 20 August 1917

From May Muggridge in Beckenham, London to David Henry Taylor in Germany.

“My dear David,

Things are going on as usual, business all day, gardening, mending and bazaar work each evening … Business: we are taking over another company which makes the fifth within the last few years … Gardening: our potatoes are a grand success … we transplant cauliflowers and parsnips … Yesterday I went to see Mrs Taylor and found her most excited … She had received a postcard from you … She would not let me take your postcard away with me so I learnt it by heart…”

Red Cross enquiry

Extract from WW1 letter dated 20 August 1917

From Red Cross international committee in Geneva to David Henry Taylor in Germany

“Dear Sir,

We shall be glad if you can give some news of yourself, as to your health etc … If you are not well enough to write yourself, perhaps a fellow prisoner would do so for you …”