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WWI:  Letters from the Trenches
These are some extracts from the letters that my Great Uncle Reg wrote home from active duty in France, Egypt and Turkey in the First World War.

kindle edition

There are some extracts from the letters below, and I can provide the full set of letters in a .pdf file to anybody who makes a small donation to the site and e-mails me to ask for them. The pdf contains full transcripts of 5 letters (approx 2,700 words) and 8 scanned images of the original pages and envelopes. You can also buy a kindle edition of the same material from, etc. The amazon price is $2.99.

Here is a SAMPLE comprising the first 3 pages of the pdf. The full pdf is 13 pages. To get a copy, make a small donation and e-mail me to let me know, or buy for Kindle through Amazon... Thanks. NB - if you paypal and e-mail me there will be a short delay until I read my e-mail, so do't panic if the file does not pop into your box the moment you make the donation. I check e-mail daily.

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Here are some extracts from the letters:

NB: This page is linked from the "war letters" site


Letters from Reg Knight, on active service during World War I.
Spelling etc. is as per the original letters (link to image)
"...??..." refers to sections of illegible text.

14th May 1915, from Reg F. Knight (Royal Engineers),Field Post Office (France) to his brother, Mr Charles Graham Knight, No 19 Lord St, Wolverhampton. Staffs. England


My Dear Brother,
A few lines to try and tell you what it is like out hear. I am giving no state secrets away, only telling bare facts, so I think I can sighn my name on the back, I did intend to write to you a few days ago, but there was an awful din going on we were staying in a cellar in the day and working in the trenches or in front of the trenches at night. It was impossible to sleep on account of the noise and the shells kept stricking the house and pieces of it kept falling, so I thought I would leave it till we got back, for we go back for a day or two, but work just as hard when we get back, but we get two or three nights in, so we don’t mind. As you will see there has been some very heavy fighting round this way for the last two weeks, you say Brother you were confused to hear of me being in the front line of trenches, why. I have been at it since the end of August, and without a rest we out here are wondering if ever they will relieve us, and wonder “Will they ever come” It takes us all our time to keep together. You will understand that when I tell you we keep being moved to the places where the fighting is going on, at the present time I have got a splitting headache, owing to the use of the Gass used against us, but that is nothing, there was a big movement in this place a few days ago, and we went to the trenches in daylight; we saw the Germans coming in to attack but no one knocked us off work. I was Orderlie to one of our officers that day; and during the day we went across a piece of open ground, and they turned a machine gun on us but thank God I had the presence of mind to lay flat down, or I should not be telling you this, after they had found their position they started shelling, and it was hell with the lid off what with gasping for Breath and expectin to be blown to pieces, to say nothing of being unable to see. we have lost a lot of men this last few weeks, and about twenty horses, rather a sad thing happened the other night we were out doing barbed wire in front of the trenches, they had been warned that we were out there, we had almost finished when two of our men were shot right through the head by our own people, but things like that are not talked of in the papers...

The rest of this letter is now available in the pdf containing all the transcripts


4th January 1917, from Reg Knight to (?) his Sister


My Dearest Sister

Once again I am sending you a few lines to tell you that I have received and to thank you for the nice parcell you so kindly sent to me, you are indeed a Gem, (hope Charlie won’t mind) pleased to say everything arrived in good condition and was very welcome, even the soaps from Cecil, thanks also for the Shirts, if I was to thank you for all the nice things you sent, I should keep on for quite a long time. Perhaps you will understand me when I say that I was more than pleased, but really dear, I did not expect it for I know that you at home are having hard times. Mind and thank Charlie for I know he had a hand in it....

The rest of this letter is now available in the pdf containing all the transcripts


1st January1918, from Reg Knight (the Y.M.C.A. with the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces) to his brother, Charles Knight.

The full text of this letter is now available in the pdf containing all the transcripts

1-1 18

My Dear Brother,
...Well Brother I am out of hospital now and while I was in I put in to the Commanding Officer of the 21st General Hospital Alex, for a leave stating that I had been out since August 1914, and had served in France, Salonique and Egypt, the application came back to me with a slip saying it was not enough grounds for me to get a leave. But when I was discharged from hospital they admitted that I was not fit enough to go up the line for a time and marked me B1 for three months, that means I shall be hanging from camp to camp till my time is up, don’t you think that they might have let me come home for that time, then I think with a change of air and food I should have been quite fit to come and start again, I tell you this because you might think that I have done something wrong as I don’t come home on leave, and I am sure you will be able to see that it is not my fault. I have not told Elsie as she writes to me saying that she is looking forward to me coming home in the spring. I might but not this spring. Well dear Brother I sincerely hope these lines find you all in the best of health...


8th March 1918, from Reg Knight to his ? sister.

This letter is now available in the pdf containing all the transcripts


14th November 1918, from Reg F. Knight (in Turkey), to his brother, Charles Graham Knight

My Dear Brother
 at last I can send you a few lines and I hope that no one will rub a lot of it out; In the first place I am at (Aleppo) and in the pink of condition; I expect you have heared about our advance out hear? And I believe the square heads in France are almost finished, most of the troops out hear do not seem very pleased about the war finishing, they know that we shall in all probability have to stay hear another six months, and this is not a very nice spot, for we are camped out in a ploughed field and the winter is on us., we have already been washed out of our rag huts; also we are rather bad off for clothing for we had to leave most of our kit including blankets, at (Jaffa). So we are still saying “roll on a long time
 Well Dear Brother I am very pleased that this war is almost over, (tell Sis to shake my clothes out for I shall want them soon)

By the way we got a wireless through last night that there was quite a lively time in London, hope they won’t be too glad and forget the boys out in this God forsaken land, please thank Sis and tell her that I received the Shirts quite safe they came in at the right time for we were only allowed to have one shirt to start with...

The rest of this letter is now available in the pdf containing all the transcripts