100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

A Letter From The Front

Harold Chapin was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1886. Although born an American citizen, he worked as an actor, director, playwright and stage manager on both sides of the Atlantic When war was declared by England, Chapin felt his patriotic duty was to serve and he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps of the British Army in September 1914, leaving a wife and five year old son.

On January 23, 1915, Chapin wrote his wife :


Quite well—but oh this God forsaken hole You never saw such a filth spot.

I have quit the Cook House and got a job as Hospital Orderly. Serjeant King who is” Nursing Duties ” having asked for me. A great bit of luck. The Hospital as a Hospital is pretty poor (it is the station waiting room, the orderly rooms being the rooms off it) but as a billet it is the only dry place in the town apparently and, until it fills up (we have 3 patients and 8 beds to date), we orderlies sleep in the beds. No sheets of course, but still beds.

You are not hideous—you are sweetly pretty—if the Cinema makes you look hideous that is only another proof what a failure it is.

I love the bits about Vallie in your letters. More please. Hope for leave to-morrow week.

Heaps of love my dear one.

Lance Corporal Harold Chapin

Lance Corporal Harold Chapin


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