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First page of the letter

Colonel Walton
Colonel William Walton

Letter from Col W.C. Walton [my great-grandfather] to his wife, from France:

28th Sept. 1915 [i.e. 3 days into the Battle of Loos]

My Dearest

Just a line to say that I hope to follow this at the very shortest possible space. To go to Aden to take up Command of the Mobile Column there - Thank God I have been spared without a scratch after taking part in the greatest fight in history. Since Saturday 25th at 5.30 A.M. I have been in the firing line - at the very forefront and am of course dog tired as they ought to have relieved us earlier, but I was quite happy in my Regiment which did grandly and earned high praise - The losses very severe - I took in 20 officers + about 900 men + the remaining effective strength when I left them at 9 A.M. today was myself + 2 other officers + 220 men - All the rest were killed wounded or missing - I hope many may still turn up. Peacock, Hicks, Berlein + Cassels and perhaps Keable all reported killed, remainder only wounded I hope. I kept Major Bartlett Capt Edwards, Capt Coote Mr Robinson, Mr Cloake + Mr Spartali in reserve so they are now available + have joined since the first fight. I have handed over command to Major B
[ie. Bartlett] . but am sorry to say I left him looking poorly + he had got lumbago badly. The battle was at an extremely interesting stage when I left - the great fear I had was that our reserves may be insufficient, but in fighting spirit we are undefeated and must be victorious please God. Major Brakspeare [sic] + Tosetti are not badly wounded I hear + many wounds are not severe - your loving Husband
Am just going to get ticket + collect kit - Hope arrive tomorrow 29th

[After writing this letter, Col Walton left the battalion to proceed to Aden - he had been posted there by the India Office in order to take command of a Mobile Column]

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