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18th October 1914: World War 1 letter - Mother I have enlisted for war
Letter from my great grandfather to his mother telling her of his enlistment and reasons for joining up to fight in World War One
This is the first of many of my great grandfather's letters that we recently discovered in a relative's attic. My great grandfather, 24-year-old Australian man, Reginald Trevor, fought in World War One in the 5th Battalion and served in battles in Gallipoli and the Somme amongst others. He returned to Australia with his wife and first child in 1920.
Transcribed letter below:
Thorpdale, Victoria, Australia
18th October 1914
I joined the Legion of Frontiersmen, and after a lot of delay, they have passed me on to the Light Horse. So I went into Trafalgar yesterday and got examined and sworn in, so I am now a soldier of the King.
I have to report at headquarters on Monday 26th of this month so I will go down next week as soon as I can sell my horse and get things fixed up.
It is the custom to give the men leave and a free pass to see their relations before sailing, so I will come home and see you before I go away.
I think that every man available in our Empire is needed this time, to keep up our flag, so I hope Mother, that you do not think I am doing wrong in volunteering for active service.
It is very kind of you and Mrs Norton to knit socks for me, I think I will want them in Germany, long legs to go up to the knee as it is cold work riding.
Don’t answer this note until you hear from me again when I will give you a proper address to write to. I did not write sooner because I had nothing definite to go on.
I will send you my clothes and further word from Melbourne. I remain your affectionate son in haste,
For easier navigation I have listed each letter in chronological order:
- Rediscovering my great grandfather, Reginald Trevor: Letters home from World War 1
- 3rd Dec 1916: WW1 Letter: Life in Perham Downs camp - England
- 18th April 1917: WW1 Letter: Stretcher bearers, ships and shell shock
- 14th Oct 1917: WW1 letter: The tedium of 'home service' in England
- 22 Oct 1917: Wounded in the Battle of Pozières - the Somme: WW1 Letter home