A LETTER FROM THE CRIMEA
FROM JOHN CHARLES WARD (10th HUSSARS) TO HIS MOTHER ANN WARD.
Transcript of a letter (see explanatory notes below) addressed to:
at his Grace the Duke Beauforts
Camp near Ilarriner*
Saturday June 23rd 1855
My Dearest Dear Mother
With much pleasure I received your kind letter dated the 31st of May and was verry happy to hear that you was quite well as I am happy to inform you that I remain so at Present but we are still verry Badly accommodated in our tents and we are verry hard worked and verry low fed and everything is still verry dear we find A Great Deal of difference between this and India where everything was so cheap it is at present verry near as hot as it was in India so we do not mind the tents quite so much but if we have to winter here without the wooden Huts them that live to see it all will be verry fortunate men we a agoing to march from Balaklava tomorrow morning but I do not know where we are agoing to but the next time you Direct the letter at the same place if I am not at Balaclava I shall still be in the Crimea and the letter will be sure to find me I cannot make out how it was that you had to pay 3 pence for my letter because I payed for it before I sent it from here I do not know wether I put Stamps on or payed 3 pence for I would always put Stamps on them but they are so verry difficult to procure here that you cannot always get them but should you have to pay for anymore enquire into it before you pay it I made enquiries respecting Mr Gratrex and I find he is still in England Mr Somerset is in England also so that I could not see either of them I had a letter from Eliza the last mail and I was verry glad to hear that she still enjoyed good health likewise I was verry happy to hear that poor Mary had quite recovered her health again I wrote to her last mail and to Eliza also and I shall write to Fanny and William by this mail I cannot think why you think it strange that I should wish to leave the 10th if you know as much about them as I do you would not think it at all strange for we have 3 times the work to do than any other Regiment on the Crimea we have so many horses and so few men to do them and such Brutes they are so they are more like Tigers than Horses there was one of them got loose the other day and worried one of the 12th Lancers the same as A dog would A rat and nearly bit his arm off I am on Guard to day and we had A dreadfull storm here last and nearly all the Horses got loose and the men where out nearly all night trying to catch them and then they did not catch them all for there is nine away now we have two got there legs Broke and was oblidged to shoot them and two men got kicked and was oblidged to go to Hospital and the rain coming down in torrents the whole time washing through the tents like A river I am now setting on A stone to write this letter as it is the only Dry place that I can find and all my things are wet but the sun is out now and I have got my blankets and kit out to in front of the Guardroom or tents to dry the sun is verry hot at present there is only A few men left here now 250 went away last week and there is 160 more agoing away to day and the remainder of the Regiment is stopping here for how long I do not know they are agoing to invest the north side of Sebastopol so I suppose we shall remain here as A sort of A Depot but I would much rather go where the remainder are than Stop here we have got some of the 13th and 4th light Dragoons attached to us to assist us with Horses so now perhaps we might soon have A little easier times of it I hope My Dear Mother you will answer this as soon as soon as you can give my love to Robert and his wife and tell them that I am quite well tell Rob to give his little dear Wife A kiss for me remember me verry kindly to Mrs Inglis and tell her I am verry much oblidged to her for her kind enquiries after my health also to Mr and Mrs Diddams* and Family that I am quite well not forgetting my little Goddaughter You can tell Mrs Buck that her son as gone away from hear with is Troop but he was quite Well the Last time I saw him but tell her if she writes to him tell her to Direct her letters the same as you do and they will be sent from here to him Give my Respects to Mrs Buck and thank her for me for giving you all the information she did of our Regiment Marching through Egypt Now my dear mother I think I must draw these few to A close as I have two more to write I must now conclude with my love to you My Dear Mother and beleive me to remain your ever affectionate son
John Charles Ward.
The letter, now somewhat torn, is written in black ink on both sides of a single sheet of foolscap paper. One half of one side contains only the address and three One Penny (red) stamps, duly postmarked with a number 49 within a diamond shape, with additional faint stampings containing the words ARMY and CRICKHOWELL. The sheet is folded so that this forms the cover, secured with sealing wax so no envelope is required.
Misspellings and omissions are reproduced. There are no paragraphs and no punctuation, so I have inserted spaces where pauses might have been expected. Some initial letters are clearly written in capitals while others are less obviously so.
* These two words are the most difficult to decipher, particularly the initial letters of them. The place name (near Balaklava?) does not appear on my world map.
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