Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who died during the two World Wars.

Letter from a Yeoman.

[Bridgnorth Journal, 11th November, 1916]

We have received the following letter:-

“[1st?] Shropshire Yeomanry, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 18/10/16. Sir, - In a letter I received from ‘somewhere in Shropshire’ a few days ago I was asked in a somewhat sarcastic manner if the [1st?] Shropshire Yeomanry had been in action yet. The answer is, as most Salopians are aware, in the negative, but I wonder, do people realise what we have been through.

Many seem to think we are having a ‘picnic’ out here, and have been since mobilization. Certainly we had a very long spell on the East Coast, but since last March, when we arrived in Egypt, although we have not (as a unit) been in action, we have not had a ‘picnic’ by any means.

We left England under a mantle of snow one bitterly cold day, and about a fortnight later we detrained ‘somewhere in Egypt,’ miles out in the desert, the heat being terrific. With our packs, rifles, and kit bags on our shoulders, we marched across the burning sand to our camp. How picturesque were our surroundings – in front of us was a long ridge of sandy hills, on the right and left sand, and behind us the railway, beyond which were still more vast stretches of golden sand. Some of the remarks made by the men were most amusing. One or two humourists commenced to sing ‘Egypt my Cleopatra’ and ‘When the fields are white with daisies.’ A memorable march that was, and most of us realised what it was to feel really warm.

Our next camp, which we moved to some weeks later, was situated in a somewhat more interesting spot, on the banks of the Nile, near a fair-sized town, but the heat was fearfully trying, and a good deal of sickness prevailed, especially a couple of months ago, when practically the whole regiment was laid up with ‘sand-fly fever,’ a very common disease at this time of the year.

At the present moment we are out in the desert again and working jolly hard too; by no means having a ‘picnic’. We are perfectly contented, realising that we are here to work, and not on a pleasure outing; but what does annoy us is to hear of people at home talking about the ‘[solemn?]’ time – to use a popular military phrase – the Yeomanry are having out in Egypt. – Yours faithfully, A TROOPER.”

This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.