Family at War

  • Family at War
  • Family at War
Family at War Family at War

1. I have a photogragh, of my mother who was a V.A.D. nurse, my Aunt who worked in munitions and my uncle in Army uniform, killed in France 24/04/1918, all together in the same photograph all from Liverpool.

2. Letter sent to George Poggi from Army relating to his son, Rupert Arthur, who had previously been reported missing.


Transcript of letter sent to George Poggi from Sergeant Whitehead regarding Rupert.



24th April 1918

Dear Mr Poggi,

I have hesitated to write you before, as I was hoping to hear some definite news about your lad, but so far I can not learn anything.

I am his chum, the chap whom you spoke to on Gabowen Station, when the draft of the 5th set out for France, and since that day, except for the time when he went in hospital as we left for Italy, ‘Pogg’ – which was the only name I ever called him – and myself, have always been together.

In the last stunt he was on company headquarters, while I had my platoon some distance away, but old Pogg and I were together when the fight started, and we stuck until we were almost cut off. Then I gave orders for the boys to get back, and we were still together on the Friday night, March 22nd. After another stand we were forced back again, and it was during that time we got separated, as things were in a bit of a mix. Since then I have made enquiries of everyone who was in the stunt, but can get no information.

I, myself, was lost for nearly a week, and was hoping the same thing might have happened to Pogg, but unfortunately it was not so. If he was taken prisoner, you could find out, couldn’t you? And I suppose you have already written to the right people for information.

The uncertainty of things is worse perhaps than definite news, and I know how you and yours will feel about it, and I, and one or two others of my platoon send you all our heartfelt sympathy in your trouble.

Pogg was always ‘one of the very best’, and I can speak from personal experience and say that in the line, in the thickest of the fighting, he was every inch a man, and as cool as could be, while out of the line he was always my chirpy, reliable second in command, for my platoon rarely had an officer.

Now anything might have happened, and until I hear the worst I shall refuse to believe that that has happened. Make all the enquiries you can if he is a prisoner of war or not, and please let me know the result.

He is one of thousands, but each one is the one to somebody and I know what he must have been to you, for though we had only been hums since Park Hall Camp days, he made himself very dear to me. God bless you all, and give you His comfort in your dark hour.

Yours very sincerely,

(signed) Sam[ue]l. A. Whitehead Sgt.

D. Coy.

16 Platoon

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