“Your letters are the only thing I have to look forward to.”

Some of the letters in the Templeton family collection
Some of the letters in the Templeton family collection

We continue this week with the heartwarming letters send home to his family by Private Robert Templeton from Wigtown.

They were written in the last few weeks of his life, as he was killed on September 26th.

“Dear Mother

I had your letter tonight and had two parcels last night. One of them dated 27th and the other 4th of this month. I was glad to have them as I had an idea some of them had gone west.

I am glad you had good luck with the foal - it should be a good one. My thumb is about all right now, there was a splinter in it. We are moving tomorrow so it may be some time before I can write again. I am writing this in a hurry as we have been out all day and the letters are just going for censor, so I have not much time.

I am always glad to hear from you as it is the only thing I have to look forward to.

“Dear Jessie (his sister)

I am writing you a few lines to pass the time till tea. We are having a big day tomorrow. I don’t know what events will be, but it will mean a route march for us with our packs on. However, it is all in a day’s work. It is very hot today and we had wet shirts when we finished drill. Be sure and send me more health salts as they are very handy for the hot weather. We are likely to be here for some time yet. It is a nice village and we don’t get the chance of coming down as far as this very often.

“Dear John (his brother)

I got your letter today and it does me a lot of good to hear how you are getting on. You were saying you had heard that Jack Wallace was wearying to be back among us. I have no doubt of that. It’s always the way here. If you are sent away from the Battalion it’s like going away from home. We know all the boys here and you don’t make friends like them anywhere, I can tell you.

I’m glad you are getting the hay in and I was glad to hear of Lily (the horse), being such a good carter and doing so well with you. She is worth looking after. I always knew she’d be a far better mare than her mother. How will you be off for foals next year? You will have old Flora anyway as she is yeld (not in foal) this year.”

“Dear Mother

I had a parcel from the Crouse this week and wrote thanking them for it, it was very kind of them. There is a lot of trouble with the mail here as there is so much of it to handle. Tell Johnny to stick in and do his best, as we will have to do ours. Look after Dinah’s foal, she should have a good one, and wee Blacky too.

PS - you might send me some of the vermin stuff you send before. It is very handy as the shin gets fired with so much salt meat, and I have had a few more boils on my neck too.

Your loving son Bob”