The WWI Letters of Bert Clements – part 2

  • 16th November 2019

We continue resharing the letters of Gunner Bert Clements, read by Naomi Taylor. They are a collection of letters sent home from the trenches by Bert, and which were later deposited in the archives. They give the insights of one soldier out of millions who served in the war. We originally put them out over the past 3 years but we thought we’d bring them together in three groups on our blog.


8th letter – 11th July 1915 – Bert manages to write a letter after a few days unable to post anything. He is at a rest camp, and although enjoying being away from the front would like to get back. Once again he asks for a parcel, although this time just for himself as Sgt Tolley has received one from someone else.


9th letter – 10 Aug 1915 – Bert talks about his Dad’s bowls competition and over in France he describes the bivouacs they sleeps in and a great thunderstorm. He then reflects on news about the war, although admits he doesn’t read much about it, and doesn’t have much time for reading.


10th letter – 9th September 1915 – In his 10th letter Bert writes a quick note. They are just back from 4 days in their new position. He mentioned Sgt Tolley who has just been home in Kidderminster on leave. The Germans have something called aerial torpedoes, although Bert hasn’t seen one yet.

11th letter – 30th September 1915 – weather broken up for winter and cold and wet. Thinks it may be over for Christmas. Asks for a particular badge to be sent.

Letter 11 – image for badge on right 4th line from bottom.


12th letter – 10th October 1915 – A very brief letter home to thank his Dad for finding the right badge to send him for his uniform.


13th letter – 29th October 1915 – Bert writes a slightly longer letter home. He is coming towards the end of a week in the trenches, and with the bad weather he’d glad he’ll be out soon. He describes a big new German gun which is in the area. He asks his dad to send some chocolate, and says he’ll show his dad how to have a wash in a mess tin of water! He refers to the last letter received, which seems to have said that shell production in Birmingham has increased.


14th letter – 30th December – Bert is back in France after a short period of leave which included Christmas.


We’ll share the last set next week.

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