1914 to 1919

A young man's letters written chiefly to his mother.


Brian Wade


ISBN: 0 9524423 1 0

copyright Barry Fowler 1996

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[Frederick]Brian Wade (1891 - 1970) compiled this collection of his letters, photos, press cuttings and other occasional memorabilia and produced it in draft form in 1970. Although he does not describe events that were particularly spectacular, Brian Wade provides insights into the experiences and day to day concerns of relatively ordinary Colonials who signed up to serve King and Country in their hour of need.

I would like to express my grateful thanks to the following people for the contribution they have made to the production of this book:

Christopher Hunt, Deputy Keeper, Department of Printed Books at the Imperial War Museum for his help with information on the 7th (City of London) Battalion.

John Thackray, Archivist and Peter Tandy of the Department of Mineralogy, both at the Natural History Museum in London.

Mrs. Pauline Harris for the information she supplied about the present use of `High Quarry'.

The Inter-Library Loan staff of the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale's Libraries Division for managing to produce promptly books that I was not sure actually existed.

Diana Fowler and Vivien Langley for proof-reading the manuscript, Diana Fowler (ne: Wade) for information about the history of the Wade family, and Neil Langley and David Banks for assistance with computer and Internet use.

Bob O'Hara for his research into the history of the 7th Battalion, The City of London Regiment at the Public Records Office in Kew.

Thanks also to Peter Appel (Universitaet Kiel), Hussein Kitambi (University of Dar es Salaam) and Klaus Szymanski (Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf) for their information about the place names in Tanzania, supplied over the Internet.

I have contemplated the merits of making some minor changes to the text to make it more politically correct weighed against the knowledge that such acts on my part would be censorship, so I have decided to avoid deleting one or two racist references in the hope that readers would see Brian Wade as having been a product of his time, and his writing reflecting the prevailing social mood at the time of the First World War. I am sure that he would have been mortified if he were aware that what he had written had caused anyone to take offence.

Due to security restrictions, Brian Wade was not permitted to give accurate details as to his exact locations when `at the front'. In a few instances he has included a note at a later date indicating his location. The place named in [square brackets] after the dates of letters indicate his most likely location according to the official War Diary of the 7th (City of London) Battalion held at the Public Records Office at Kew in London.

I have taken the liberty of expanding some of the abbreviations that were used, to add clarity, and have decided to leave in the references to his family and loved ones.

Barry Fowler

Sentinel Projects

July 1996

Appendix I: 7th Battn London Regt Sports Programme 11th June 1916

Appendix II : The Spur. (King Edward's Horse.) 11 August 1916

Appendix III: Divisional Concert Party Christmas 1916

Appendix IV: Transport Section: City of London: Annual Dinner Jan 4th 1917

Appendix V: Programme March 17, 1917 St. Patrick's Day Dominion Lines

Appendix VI: Additional Resources



Cover Photograph: Author Brian Wade, December 1915

Photograph 1: `The Recruits'

Badge: 1st King Edward's Horse

Photograph 2: Lance-sergeant Dick Darrel and Lance-corporal Wade

Photograph 3: Green Str. Green Barracks, Parade Ground, Divine Service

Photograph 4: La Grande Guerre 1914-15 - LOOS

Photograph 5: La Grande Guerre 1914-15 Richebourg38

Photograph 6: Doris Godson

Photograph 7: `Hellup!' A Christmas Card sent by G.D. Roche, former comrade in arms to Brian Wade, 1919.

Published: 1 October 2007.

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