W. ‘Willie’ Scott was a Master at Berkhamsted from 1905. He was commissioned into the Sherwood Foresters in 1915, returning to teach at Berkhamsted in December 1918.
This slim volume entitled Citizen Soldiers contains four stories -
Runners (Gouzeaucourt, June 1917),
Batmen (Gonnelieu, Oct. 1917),
Cooks (Mory Abbey, Feb. 1918)
and AVE atque VALE, March 1919.
Written on the spot by men who had fought in the Great War and with whom Willie came into contact. They were published, to give to an audience of schoolboys, a closer acquaintance with one or two of the less well-known duties of the private soldier on service and the spirit in which their drudgery was faced.
Willie writes in the foreword – “The stories have the value of personal experience, and have been left practically unchanged, a fact which will explain some false hopes expressed in them”.
This letter was found tucked inside the front cover of a Stede House Book for 1932-33.
Written by 1426141 Sgt l. Selby and dated Jan. 27th 1946, he writes on behalf of himself and fellow comrades, thanking the pupils of Berkhamsted School for Girls for the parcel of cigarettes.
Further lines from the letter read – “Although we are over here in these strange lands hundreds of miles away from those we love, it touches our hearts to know that those left behind in England are still thinking of us and trying to send a few comforts to cheer us”.