|Private Tom Fake|
I've featured several that he wrote in the lead-up to the Armistice and on Armistice Day itself on this blog. Now I'll publish extracts from those he wrote during those first days of peace on the Western Front.
During the last weeks of fighting Tom's battalion was involved in the final advance through Artois to liberate the coalfields of Lens and Douai. This is touched upon in his letter from 13 November, as well as his disappointment at not being able to go on leave as anticipated...
"We are staying in a small village, called Bordour, 7 miles from Mons, where we happened to be when the Armistice took place, and I am sorry in one way, to say, I will not be getting my leave from here, so I must wait a little longer until we get to Germany. We are leaving here Sunday the 17th for a town on the Rhine, which is a good way into Germany called Cologne, and I am hoping to get leave from there, its about 140 miles from Bordour, and I hope they don't want us to march much of it.
"I was sweating for leave this week, but there it is, I suppose I must go and wind up the watch on the Rhine first. I expect it will appear strange to you reading a letter like this [ie: with place names mentioned not censored], but you see I am a civi [civilian] again, so to speak, as the war is finished.
The ruined French town of Douai that Tom Fake's
battalion helped liberate in 1918
"Well my dear, I am glad it is over, and I shall be very glad when I am home for good with you and Tommy once more, but still this is something towards it, we do know that the war is over."
Tom's letter from 13 November 1918 is reproduced below.