Looking forward to pipes

5th. Somerset L.I. Ambala

Dec. 31st. 1914

My dear old Elsie

I can only send you a few lines this week as the mail goes tonight and I have had no time – the week before Xmas I was away in the hills with my company on a bivouacing expedition returning on Xmas Eve. I spent the Xmas holiday as a guest of H.H the Maharajah of Patiala* and tomorrow l am off again for several days bivouacing – next mail I hope to send you a long letter. So many thanks dear for the letters and papers – its awfully good of you and I am sure the pipes will be fine when they arrive – You can somehow always pick out a good pipe.

It has been a strange Xmas but I have had a wonderful time and I’ll tell you all about it in my next – I am keeping very fit & I do hope you are altho I’m sorry you are so thin – I can still trouble the scales to the tune of 13 stone.

Its New Years Eve old dear – goodness knows what’s going to happen in 1915 – it will be a great year  & lets hope we shall meet again before it has run its course.

Best love and all good wishes,

From Stan.

*The Maharaja of Patiala died in March 1938 aged 46. He had been President of the Cricket Club of India and had been a ‘free scoring batsman’ before poor health compelled him to give up active Participation in the game. (The Wisden Book of Cricketers’ Lives Compiled by Benny Green, Queen Anne Press, 1988, p.689.)

Next letter Jan 7th

These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/

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Our bungalows are overrun with huge rats!

5th. Somerset LI. Umballa, Punjab

Dec. 8th. 1914

Just a few lines to tell you I am safe and sound at Umbala or Ambala or Umballa – which ever you like. I only hope we are permanently settled now for these long train Journeys are very trying and it is so expensive to fit up fresh bungalows.

You will be glad to hear that I am still very fit indeed and am getting on so well with my soldiering that I have ever so much more confidence and am happier than ever in my work. We are in quite different country now to Jubbulpore – it is far colder, for away Simla way we can see the snow capped heights of the Himalayas – the country is much rougher and the people speak no English and look so fierce that I always carry my revolver with me after sunset. The men have very fine barracks – roomy and high and the drilling grounds are excellent but our own bungalows are very inferior to our Jub. ones and are over run with huge rats and insects which I’ve never seen before – still all these things come in the life of a soldier I suppose and all one can do is set ones teeth and go on. We passed through Jhansi on our way up and picked up the letters – many thanks dear for the one you sent me posted on Nov. 12th. I am sorry the little boy* has been so ill and that Mrs. Brown has had other trouble too but I hope every thing is better now. I will try to send you a longer letter next mail – we have to work very hard now and I shall get less time for writing – we hear that we are to go back to France in March and we have a lot to do by that time. Goodnight old girl I hope you are quite well and free from throat trouble

Best love and all good wishes

from Stan.

*The little boy was Ronald Brown, aged about 21 months.

Next letter Dec 31st.

These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/

Travelling again – to Umballa

Nebudda Club, Jubbulpore

Dec. 3 1914

My dear old Elsie

Ever so many thanks for your last mail letter & the Tatler which I enjoy ever so much and read every word. We have been living in a packed up state for 10 days and it has been most uncomfortable. I wonder when our wanderings will cease. We leave for Umballa* tonight (Thurs) and do not reach our destination until next Monday! When we are settled again in Umballa I will write you another long letter – you will probably get this about Xmas time – it seems impossible to send you the old old wishes but let us hope for better times and that we may meet again soon as in the good old peaceful days. We have been turned out of our mess for days for all our things had to be packed and are living at this Club. The best bed I can find is a hard wood floor and a blanket. But after all this soldiering it takes a lot to upset me and I’m glad to say I am keeping wonderfully fit. I expect Amy is staying with you now, how very nice for you and I hope she is much better.

Excuse more now old dear. I hope my next will be more interesting and I’ll try to send you some snap shots too.

Best love and many thanks again for your letter and papers.

from Stan

*Umbala or Ambala: city north of Delhi with garrison cantonment.

Next letter Dec 8th.

These letters have been published as
Engaged in War – the Letters of Stanley Goodland 1914 – 1919
Twiga Books, ISBN 978 09528625 2 9 £9.50 + p&p
Available from http://twigabooks.co.uk/