Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A broken promise

You'll be familiar with William Thomas Bloxham, our almost grandfather and fiancee of our grandmother, Selina Louisa (Louie) Brodbeck, who was killed at Paschendale during the First World War.

Today seems as good a day as any to publish the letter from Will to Louie which changed the course of history - the letter where he begged to be let off the promise he made not to go to war. So, here it is .......

Upper Horton
Friday morn
My own dearest Louie

Doubtless this letter will give you much pain my darling. I want you to let me off the promise I made you some time ago about going to enlist. I promised I would not go.

Darling, I really think it’s my duty to go, they are wanting men badly and at home if the men don’t respond readily enough, I fear conscription will be enforced. As I told you in my last letter the Bingara Recruiting Association are holding a meeting here, during the interval in the Concert, think I shall mention it then. Would like to spend Xmas with you so shall tell them I cannot go until after then.

Darling I hope you don’t think me a hard hearted Brute in writing to you like this, after giving you a promise not to go too, but I can’t keep it dearest. I feel if I must, I know you will be hurt, but cheer up dearest. Oh Kiddie, I wish I could explain to you my feelings about it, but I cannot. I love you and want you darling and then duty seems to have her say.

I may not pass in the examination, in which case I shall know that I tried, shall have that satisfaction.
Ed Gainen is going to Rose Neath on Sunday afternoon to see some sheep and I shall try and get a seat in the ‘Car’ with him, we can then talk it over. Well darling, I will have to close and get Breakfast. My darling sweet kid, forgive me for causing you pain. Hoping to see you on Sunday.

Truest love my own darling.

Your ever true loving boy,


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