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Date: September 8th 1919
John Hudgins

Witley Camp



Mrs. J.J. McMahon

c/o Lt. Col. Grimstead

122 Queen Victoria St.

London,  Eng.


Dear Ollie:


Yours received this PM.  Was glad to hear you’d not died and having a good time.  Hope you have better weather than we are having in this God forsaken land.  Mebby I have done wrong in not telling you the truth about those grave locations but I came to the conclusion that what people did not know would hot hurt them.  My dear child you need not think I hiked over that accursed country last spring for pleasure.  I went with maps, compass & locations of 13 graves and found them frauds, every damned one of them.  That is the reason I never sent the map location home.  Planned to get a picture of a grave for Mother the same as we did for hundreds of other Mothers.  And shut our mouths.  Mother need never know.  I am trusting you to keep it to yourself.  Don’t you think I am right?  So you are learning a thing or two about the ways of this country are you?  Don’t worry about Meg “drinking and smoking”.  Worse luck, she does not care about either.  Therefore, I catch Hell every time I want a drink.  I do persuade her to take a haul at my cigarette occasionally.  Reckon I can teach her in time to smoke but am afraid the drink is impossible.  However, “while there is life there is hopes”.   But still she’s not a bad sort, perhaps I can teach her to swear if all else fails.  She is young yet you know.  And it would sure be a shame to disappoint some of the good people at home.  I reckon she will like most of the people I do and they will like her.  The rest can go to you know where and if she don’t like the country, well we flit, that’s all.  I am not married to the country and I am to the girl.  And glad of it.  As to Noble’s wife, poor kid.  Reckon she dropped a hornet’s nest, what do you think?  Am not worrying about Meg at any rate. 


Well Ollie, I didn’t know what to think about your S. M.  It’s damn funny I never heard the name before, & he did not know mine.  C & D Coy’s used to work together you know.  I was pretty well known in that old Bn. I thought. Reckon that he must have pulling your leg.  Lots of “birds” wearing our dress that never seen that Bn..


I sure would like to see him.  Hope you make Italy & Switzerland.  For my own part I want to make home just as quick as God & the Army will let me.  Will see you when you get back to Eng. I hope.  Expect to be going to Buxton in a few days.  But it may be months before I can get home. 


But if I send “Ginger” home with you will be able to make it sooner.  There are more than 1800 families waiting at Buxton now & no boat in sight.  However, will send for “Meg: when I get to Buxton and that will help the time along.  I get so damned lonesome around this place I don’t know what to do with myself.  Am afraid my soldering days is over.  The last two leaves I had, overstayed both (caught Hell too) so daren’t take another short leave.  Would be shot sure as my memory is getting bad as to dates.  Can’t soldier any more-to H_ _ _ with the whole outfit.  I want to go home! 


By the way have you a camera?  Would it be any use for me to send you mine now?  Forgot all about it when I was in London & dare not sent it.  I got off in such a hurry I did not think of anything.  By the way what hotel did you stop at when you were in London & where were you on Sunday?  I’ll bet we passed in the street.  Well I must ring off.  Probably you will never get this anyway.  It’s fine tonight for a change.  One of those damned lonesome feeling nights, and I am lonesome believe me.  I hear tonight we are all leaving for Buxton the 12th then I hope will get indefinite leave until we sail.  Will let you know if I am, will write the strand P. the 20th at any rate.  By the way I was in Amiens a year ago last Xmas morning & could not rustle even a bite of bread.  Times have changed since then eh?

 Love from "Meg" and Jack


PS     I hope you get a chance to go to Avion in front of Vimy.  I can tell you stories about that place to make you laugh.  We dubbed it the moving city.  We spent months on that cursed front.  I could shut my eyes and draw a map of the trench system even yet.


PSS   Had a letter from old Auntie a couple of days ago.  She wants us to come by way of NY and give her a call.  Will if I get the chance.  Most as soon see her as Mum.  Write often if only a note.  I want to keep track of you if possible.    Jack

Original Scans

Original Scans

Letter. Hudgins, John. 1919.09.08 Letter. Hudgins, John. 1919.09.08 Letter. Hudgins, John. 1919.09.08 Letter. Hudgins, John. 1919.09.08 Letter. Hudgins, John. 1919.09.08 Envelope. Hudgins, John. 1919.09.08