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5th October 1915: Trench Rats! World War One letter

Updated on January 23, 2012

This letter describes life in the trenches and Lemnos Island

5th October 1915
Lemnos, a Greek Island

Dear Mother,
I received a parcel from you containing a cake and other things – they were greatly appreciated I can assure you, especially the cigars. I also received yesterday a letter dated 13/8/15 but have not got as yet the cable you mentioned.

I am quite well at present and have been very lucky up to date. The skin waistcoat you mention will come in very handy if I get it. So many things go astray coming here. It is very cold in the trenches at night especially about four o’clock in the morning.

Do you think you could send some insecticide or disinfectant of some sort? Our trenches are all captured from the Turks and are swarming with vermin. It is impossible to keep them out of our clothes and blankets.

Every morning the boys take off their shirts and have a kill. Raiding their shirts they call it. It is very amusing to see them, sometimes they bet each other also who will kill the most.
The Turks are good fighters, all the fighting is done at nighttime and very early morning. I got one the other morning about day break.

We are at present having a spell on the island of Lemnos, the capital town Castro is too far away to visit but there are some small villages close by which we visit and buy things, the prices of course are very high, exorbitant in fact. Eggs are six for a shilling, butter cannot be got, tinned fruit is two shillings a tin, the cheapest things are grapes. We get about three and a half pounds for sixpence.

I am enclosing a few photos and some stamps for Harold. I hope you got my photo which I sent to you before I came here. I also trust you have sent that ring to my friend. I would like her to get it.

Now mother dear, I am quite alright and think I will get through this all right so don’t worry about me. You may be sure that if you are getting my money all right, I am all right too. I am very sorry indeed to hear of Mrs Norton’s death, it must be a great blow to her family. I would like you to express my sympathy for me if possible. I don’t care about writing as I may not do it right.

Thank Mary for me for those nice handkerchiefs and card she sent me. I must now conclude with best love to all at home and yourself.

I remain your loving son,

For a good article about Trench Rats click here.

For easier navigation I have listed each letter in chronological order:

  1. Rediscovering my great grandfather, Reginald Trevor: Letters home from World War 1
  2. Background Information about my great grandfather - Reginald Trevor - a soldier in World War 1

  3. 18th October 1914: World War 1 letter - Mother I have enlisted for war

  4. 23rd October 1914: - Preparing to Embark - World War One

  5. 22nd February 1915: We have embarked - World War One letter

  6. 20th August 1915: Letter from Cairo - World War One

  7. 5th October 1915: Trench Rats! World War One letter (current page)

  8. 2nd Nov 1915: WW1 Letter - Life on Lemnos Island rest camp

  9. Christmas Day 1915: WW1 letter - Life in the Gallipoli Trenches

  10. World War 1 Field Service Postcards from the front

  11. 1916: World War 1 letter - Belgian refugees' suffering, experiences in Egypt and France

  12. 3rd Dec 1916: WW1 Letter: Life in Perham Downs camp - England
  13. 18th April 1917: WW1 Letter: Stretcher bearers, ships and shell shock
  14. 14th Oct 1917: WW1 letter: The tedium of 'home service' in England
  15. 22 Oct 1917: Wounded in the Battle of Pozières - the Somme: WW1 Letter home
  16. Postcards from World War One - France

For background information about Reginald Trevor, please click here.


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