Messages sent back home from the front

A FIRST World War Digger from Bundaberg fighting in France kept in close touch with his family, a series of letters and postcards shows.

WARTIME MEMORIES: Digger Fred Hampson in uniform before he was killed in France in 1917. Photo: contributed
WARTIME MEMORIES: Digger Fred Hampson in uniform before he was killed in France in 1917. Photo: contributed contributed

In one letter to his brother Victor, Fred Hampson wrote about life in the trenches in France.

"Well Vic I am over in a place where the big guns go off and they pelt shells at a bloke," he said.

"I have a few German things but I can't send them from here.

"I will try and get you a helmet, that's if I am let to keep it."

Private Hampson also mentions the lack of correspondence from home.

"They must have gone to the bottom of the sea as there is so many boats getting sunk," he wrote.

The weather was also starting to get to Pte Hampson.

"The weather is starting to get a bit cold now and we are in for a good time in front of us this winter as over here is worse than England so you can guess what a time we are in for," he wrote.

Pte Hampson also wrote about dogs pulling the fruit carts in France.

"They can pull big loads, they beat the goats," he wrote.

Pte Hampson also mentions that his brother Victor has joined the army too.

"As long as you stop home soldiering it's all right as they kill men over here," he wrote.

Pte Hampson also expresses his hope that his family back home has a good Christmas.

"Mine will be a good one, bully beef and biscuits, it's lovely," he wrote.

Tragically, Pte Hampson never saw his family again. He was killed by a shell at Passchendaele Ridge on September 2, 1917.

WARTIME MEMORIES: One f the postcards Digger Fred Hampson sent to his family from Europe. Photo: contributed
WARTIME MEMORIES: One f the postcards Digger Fred Hampson sent to his family from Europe. Photo: contributed contributed

In the letter he expresses his deepest sympathy to Mrs Hampson. "I do not know you personally but Fred was a schoolmate of mine and I have known him practically all my life," he wrote.

"He was my chum over here, and in England and we both came out of our first battle safe, I little thought that we were to be parted in this last stunt."

Pte Hurst said Pte Hampson was in a trench and was killed by a shell instantly so he did not feel any pain.

"I took his pay book and pocket book and handed them in," he wrote.

"Fred was given a soldier's burial on the battlefield and is at rest there."

Pte Hurst wrote that he, Pte Hampson and a Dave Linklater were often together talking about Bundaberg.

"Both Dave and I extend our deepest sympathy to you," he wrote.

Captain Chaplain J.A. Malcomson also wrote to Mrs Hampson about her loss.

"We can never speak nor think too highly of our brave lads," he wrote.

"They are simply magnificent in action, calm in danger, cheerful in privation and as comrades true as steel."

WARTIME MEMORIES: Fred Hampson travelled to Europe on the T.S.S. Demosthenese. Photo: contributed
WARTIME MEMORIES: Fred Hampson travelled to Europe on the T.S.S. Demosthenese. Photo: contributed contributed


Man crashes car before being found in girl’s bunk bed

Premium Content Man crashes car before being found in girl’s bunk bed

He told the court he hasn’t had a drink since the incident happened.

RIGHT SLICE: Readers’ choice for Bundy’s best pizza revealed

Premium Content RIGHT SLICE: Readers’ choice for Bundy’s best pizza revealed

See which pizzeria Bundaberg voted as the best place to grab a slice.

Drunk driver’s near miss with Bundy mum before crashing

Premium Content Drunk driver’s near miss with Bundy mum before crashing

The defendant told the court what she did was “irresponsible” and “selfish”.