Soldier’s Letters: Written by Signaller/Sergeant W. H. Pethard, 7th Battalion, between 1914 and 1917

Sergeant W. H. Pethard, 7th Infantry Battalion, 24 June 1917

Soldier Identified: Signaller William Henry Pethard, Service No: 811, 7th Battalion, 1st Australian Overseas Expeditionary Force, A.I.F. Returned to Australia, 19 December 1918.

Originally Published: Bendigonian (Vic.) 20 September 1917.

In a letter to his father, Sgt. W. H. Pethard, writing from “somewhere in France,” on 24th June, describes a visit which he paid while in England to Plymouth; which proved to be a most enjoyable trip. The beautiful Hoe and esplanade, which thousands delight to promenade, was to me a most welcome place for relaxation. A taxi drive out to the renowned Dartmoor, with the glorious undulating moors, disappearing far into Cornwall, was indeed a sight never to be forgotten.

While the soldiers on leave preferred to spend their holiday in the city, Sgt. Pethard betook himself to his father’s birthplace, Alvechurch, near Birmingham, and found great pleasure in visiting the home which stands on the site of that in which his father was born. He met some of the people who had entertained Mr. Pethard on the occasion of his visit a few years ago, and they took him to places of interest, foremost amongst them being the chapel which Mr. Pethard had assisted to erect. Referring to the country lanes, Sgt. Pethard writes:

“I was quite surprised at the excellent condition of these tracks which would be simply splendid for road races. The exuberant foliage on each side completed the scene, and greatly added to the exquisitiveness (sic) of it all. Then a stroll across some of the fields was muchly enjoyed. Lickey Hills were pointed out to me, and Parson’s Dip we visited. I wondered if the parsons of your time carried on their theological studies in this quiet and isolated corner. Probably they did, hence the origin of the name. I continued my journey to Redditch, where you also spent a number of years of your early life. I was quite delighted with Redditch, and never dreamt it was so large a township.”

Source: SGT. W. H. PETHARD. (1917, September 20). Bendigonian (Bendigo, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 31. 

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