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February 13th 1915 - Letter from George Sladden to his mother, Eugénie Sladden

13th February 1915
Correspondence From
George Sladden, Watford
Correspondence To
Eugénie Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter


13 Feb 1915

My dear Mother

If I had written to you about at my proper time I should probably not have avoided another crossing of letters, so I will forgive myself for being late. I have been and am still enjoying another busy period. I am taking a course of horse-shoeing, in addition to other duties; this takes me round to the forge at all available spare times. The work is very interesting but it is most extraordinarily hard physically. It looks very simple to see a trained farrier holding up a horse’s foot while he deals with it, but in reality there is a great deal of strain, especially as the position of working is a cramped one for anybody who is not thoroughly used to it. I am only learning the work on the foot; that is to say the fitting of the made shoe. To acquire the anvil work as well takes about two years.

It was very jolly that I was able to get away for the few hours necessary to see Arthur’s last Saturday. How well he looked. We had a very crowded evening of talk: I don’t think I have chattered so much for years. Six months of experience and ideas acquired in a war like this don’t fit easily into a space of three or four hours. I hope he won’t have to stay long at Nantes. I feel sure the place is not properly representative of France; and that it must correspond with such uninteresting, uncultivated place as, say Gravesend.

We did our field-firing exercise a few days ago. Field-firing is an exercise involving an advance in big bodies (in our case by companies 250 strong) over a long stretch of ground and firing at various targets and screens at various distances. The targets are little iron plates, the size of a man’s head that fall down when hit. They represent the advance guard of an attack. Behind them are slightly larger target or screens representing supports advancing in small groups. The best shots concentrate on the collapsible plates while the worst ones deal with the screens. When the plates are all disposed of, the whole fire is concentrated on the screens. The quicker you knock out the plates, the more time and ammunition there is to use on the screens and consequently the more hits to show at the finish. It was an intensely interesting bit of training, giving an excellent idea of the problems and difficulties of fire control. We were very pleased with our results which showed excellent fire and fire control.

Love to all from

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference