Letter from Capt. Robinson
France, May 31st, 1915
The following are extracts from letters recently received from Capt. Robinson by Mrs. Robinson, New Liskeard.
I just heard to-day of Mr. Morgan's death. I am much grieved and greatly shocked, although I feared he might be hit in the recent fighting. I am very busy, and have not been in touch with the 10th Battalion, since I saw Mr. Morgan last, over two weeks ago. I got the news officially from Division Headquarters, and as yet know nothing of the circumstances, whatever, but I shall make every endeavour to find his grave, if possible, and learn how he fell. Mrs. Morgan will be anxious to know.
Our Division has gained considerable ground, during the recent fighting, and, I believe the 10th Battalion was in the thick of it again. I had been hoping that in the fighting he might if hit, have the luck to be wounded only, and be returned to his family. I feel very sad for them, and I feel very lonesome to-day.
At our last billet the Tenth, was near us - about a mile away, and, I visited Mr. Morgan every day, and sometimes twice in a day. He was always glad to see me, and insisted on my coming often. He was such an enthusiastic soldier, and such a conscientious worker. He took a kindly interest in every man under him. O, I am so sad to-day. I feel the loss of his comradeship and his friendship, and I know what a great bereavement it is for his family.
The 10th Battalion is in the 2nd Brigade. I was in the trenches of the 3rd Brigade, but heard nothing of Mr. Morgan there. A large number of Germans were lying as they fell in the recent fight for these trenches, the infantry having been too busily engaged building up the new line of trenches to afford time to bury them all. There was no attack on while we were there, only occasional shelling I reconnoitered the ground in the afternoon, with Lieut. Gibson, of the 48th, and at night my men went out and gathered equipment and rifles that had been left where men fell, and could not be collected in daylight without drawing fire on the trenches. I had a rather close call when a high explosive lit ten feet away digging a huge hole in the soft ground, and splashing earth and fragments over me. At the present moment, half of my men are on road control, etc., at the Provost Marshall's area. I will close as I am sitting on a Field General Court Marshal at ten o'clock, and it is nearing that time. It is not one of my men who is in trouble. Last week the Division Cyclist C'oy broke the record by not having one punishment award, or crime record in the weekly returns. We have two hundred and three, all ranks, and the above spells fine discipline.
Part of our Division, including the Cyclists, was moved a few kilometers up the line yesterday. Probably the 10th Battalion will have been moved also, but I shall endeavour to get away and locate Mr. Morgans grave. I shall try to obtain a snap shot of it. I can not realize that he is gone from us. He will be greatly missed in his social and business relationship in New Liskeard and vicinity, where he, through choice decided to make his home. He took a keen interest in everything that made for the betterment of the town and district, and although he was appreciated and known by many of us, as such, he preferred to work quietly, and out of the limelight of public view. He had a keen sense of humor, and frequently, entertained us pleasantly with stories and reminiscences of his past life, particularly of our district. When I last saw him he gave me several copies of "The Speaker", which he had saved for me and together, we ate homemade candy you sent me. He showed me the snaps of the family, and I gave him two that you had sent me, taken with Mrs. Morgan, and he was delighted with them. I arranged for a cycle ride with him later but when he came, we talked until the time was passed and that was the last time I saw him, as we got orders to move the next day. I am so glad I had the happy chance to see him so often. He seemed to enjoy it so much as I certainly did. Immediately after arriving at the front he looked me up, and then reported to Head Quarters for duty. And now he is here no more. O my heart goes out for those dear bereaved ones whose burdens of sacrifice is now so great, since their beloved one is taken. He had much to give and they have much to bear.
I wish that all British subjects had his national pride. It is an essential quality of character, and if it is not caught from parental teaching a great responsibility is placed on our public school education.
At present we are in reserve and it is very quiet here. I spent some very happy moments on a part of the line where the old British trenches have faced the Germans for many months and have remained unbroken. The weather was beautiful, the trenches dry as a bone and as the old song says "The green grass grew all around." The parapets were built well and so uniformly with spacious dugouts partly above ground, and all sorts of holes contrived for shelter and with the long line of kharki clad troops it looked so splendid. A large Union Jack waved proudly there, seeming to inspire us with assurance that we were worthy to be placed in charge of so sacred a trust. A trust that linked us with the noble traditions of the past.
It is such a satisfaction to know too that the British citizens of today are proving themselves capable of upholding the glorious traditions of our army and navy. But it does seem too bad that such a great nation should have so few guns to defend it. But I must stop now as my wounded subaltern, Lieut. Chadwick, has returned from hospital and I must see him.