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Item Title:

Thank God I am Trying to Do My Little Bit: Pte. Jim Elwell 7th Su-Used


Books, Comics, Magazines



Item Condition: Used
Current Time:21 Oct 17 14:49:08
Time & Date displayed is forUnited States - EDT
Auction Closes:Learn more about Instant Buy

Quantity: (3 Available)
Price per item: £36.47 ($47.80)

Postage: £8.95 ($11.73)
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Item Specifics - Books ISBN : 9780954887513
Author :
36.47 16864098 Thank God I am Trying to Do My Little Bit: Pte. Jim Elwell 7th Suf http://medium.snazal.com/?9780954887513 http://large.snazal.com/?9780954887513 9780954887513 9780954887513 Media Books 7.89 Thank God
Lot # 16864098
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Item Location: Leicester
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Title: Thank God I am Trying to Do My Little Bit: Pte. Jim Elwell 7th Suf

ISBN: 9780954887513
Sku Code: 9780954887513
Media > Books
Thank God I am Trying to Do My Little Bit: Pte. Jim Elwell 7th Suffolks: A Walsall Lad's Letters from the Trenches 1916-1917
The title of this book, `Thank God I Am Trying To Do My Little Bit', derives from a pencil-written letter of Private Jim Elwell, 7th Suffolks; it was written on 28th October 1916 while he was in divisional reserve in the heavily bombarded, front line, French city of Arras on the Western Front. It was but one of fifty-three letters, field service postcards and greetings cards from Jim that are preserved for posterity and which afford an insight into the life of an erstwhile civilian family-man who was called up in June 1916, put into the hands of the training corporals of Catterick, sent to France, transferred from the South Staffordshire Territorials to the hard-hit 7th Suffolks and initiated into the harsh daily round of trench warfare. Yet army life was but a facet of Jim Elwell's existence; he was a son, a husband, a father, a brother, a workmate, a loyal friend and a faithful parishioner. Every aspect of his personality is reflected in the letters he sent from France, whether a simple postcard scribbled in the cold and mud of the front line or a long letter composed in the relative comfort of a rest billet well back from the thud of the guns. His abiding concern was for his wife, Bertha, and his beloved `little'uns', Lizzie and Lucy, and to whom most of his surviving correspondence was sent. That Jim was popular is undoubted, witnessed by the flow of letters to him from relatives, workmates and even his boss at Jagger's Lorinery business in Walsall. Many dispatched parcels, whose contents were of variable use, ranging from the functional Gillette razor blades, warm gloves and Balaclava to fruit (that occasionally turned up frozen solid), biscuits and the essential cigarettes. Jim attested his willingness to serve in December 1915, was sent in June 1916 to Yorkshire to train with Fifth and Sixth Reserve Battalions, the South Staffordshire Regiment and was finally ferried across to France in late September 1916 where he joined 1/6th South Staffords at Bailleulmont in the northern Somme sector. By mid-October he had been transferred with several Walsall lads to 7th Suffolks, where Jim learned the ways of the trench soldier that, after a `good' Christmas and a spell with the Royal Engineers preparing the line for the Battle of Arras (9th April-4th May, 1917), culminated in his part in the Battle of Arleux on 28th April, when he was posted as first, `slightly wounded' and eventually, `wounded and missing in action'. The confusion that arose over Jim's demise led his wife Bertha to hope for many years that Jim would turn up on her front doorstep, a hope that was strengthened when a complete stranger wrote to her from Gloucester asking whether Bertha's husband was in France; the stranger, Ethel Cantillion, had cards sent to Jim by his children and subsequently found by her own husband, Henry, on the Arras battlefield. A strange story unfolded from this coincidence.

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