The periodicals arrived quite alright, thanks very much. It is so in some parts of France, but where we are just now you do not hear much of the singing of the birds but rather the constant roar of the artillery, the hurtling shells flying through the air on their mission of death, at he crack, crack, crack of the machine guns; the trees, mostly only half standing, the ground full of shell holes and here and there little crosses telling you that underneath there, there lies those who have fallen [in] the conflict...
‘‘Your reference to the setting sun I was most charmed with dear.
On one occasion, a girl was found to have her keys in her pocket.
She was reprimanded, but because Mum was the forewoman and responsible for the girls, she was the one who was punished.
"After the war, my father came home severely shell-shocked which lasted until he died in 1970.
Mum nursed him back to health and went on to have four children.
The register is marked ‘acquitted, insane at the time of commission of offence’, evidence that he was again suffering from shell shock.
The only anecdotal explanation of this event was that he issued a week or more of the rum ration to the men before they went over the top.
Before the end of June, he was back with his Battalion in France, moving to Wyschaete near Ypres.
‘‘Not one for wasting time on train journeys, Mum managed to crochet her curtains and table covers, some of which I still have.
On her return to London, the Zeppelin raids had begun, but this didn’t stop her cycling to the factory each day.
"I’m sure mum was no different to lots of other young women in the First World War, but she passed on to us a sense of loyalty and stoicism.” Bruce Margrett from Polegate, East Sussex, writes about the psychological damage his father Archibald Margrett, known as Jimmy, suffered after serving in the war.
“Jimmy gave himself without restraint to the conflict in France and carried the scars for the rest of his life.At the time, she was engaged to my father and they were married on one of his annual seven days leave in 1917.