The envelope, pictured above, is a sad reminder that letters
would frequently not reach their intended reader, and it would
be the lot of others to return the contents to the sender who
might only on receipt realise that the person was dead. In the
case of this envelope, there is no accompanying letter and it
may be better to remain unaware of the contents.
In Charles Tempest-Hicks case he had died
of wounds sustained while engaged in the fighting during the
Battle of Amiens on 8th August 1918, a date described by General
von Ludendorff as a black day for the German Army.
The letter, posted in Barnet on 11th August, 1918, was marked
Deceased and returned to the sender via the Royal Engineers
Army Postal Service by the 16th Lancers Quartermaster, a Captain
J McConnell. Noting the Barnet postmark and the address of Charles
parents, it is quite likely that the sender was a family member,
and clearly the 8th would have proved a black day
for the family also.
The photograph was kindly provided by Andrew Brooks, a member
of the North Lancashire Branch of the WFA, who has the original
envelope as part of a wide ranging collection of philatelic
items from the Great War.
Roll of Honour entry