During our research into the former pupils of Hereford Cathedral School who served in WW1, we found that all of the letters of Thomas Wilmot to his mother in Ross on Wye had survived and are held in the Imperial War Museum.

They start with his account of his summer term of sport at HCS in 1913. Thomas and his brothers were boarders in No1 and he was a keen sportsman.  On leaving school, Thomas headed for Canada to work and at the outbreak of War his letters shown how desperate he was to get back to England to join up.

There is a gap in the letters during which time we can only assume that he was making his way back to England where he signed up in early 1915.

We intend to publish Tom’s letters, releasing them one hundred years on from the date on which they were written so that we may follow Tom’s story as the war unfolds.

Our thanks for permission to use these letters go to Tom’s relatives; to the Imperial War Museum and to Dr Frances Hurd who spent many hours making the transcripts.
Field postcard 16 July

I am quite well

Letter follows at first opportunity


My dear mother

I am still quite sound but feeling the worse ...
My dear mother

We have moved from where we were and are going into the fight. Every thing seems to be going very well.

The country round here is mag ...
My dear mother

We have changed our destination for the first time since I joined the battalion.

I told you about our raid didn't I . Well we moved l ...
My dear mother

We are out of the trenches for 3 days. That does not mean 3 days rest as I would almost rather be int he trenches than just behind as ...
My dear mother

We are doing all sorts of things round here. At present we are just behind the line, but are going up to the trenches tonight. The Ger ...
My dear mother

I am still doing Bde Bombing Officer but I manage to spend most of my time with the regiment.

We are standing by in reserve. Everybod ...
My dear mother

Just a short letter to say what we are doing.

We were going to take over the trenches tomorrow evening but the order was suddenly can ...
My dear mother

Very many thanks for a letter straight from you and one via Robert. They both arrived at the same time.

At present I am acting Bde Bo ...
My dear mother

We are now out for 12 days rest which is rather enjoyable. It means we are going to get an extra long time in the trenches but still i ...
Encloses a newspaper cutting from the Morning Post describing 'an extensive mine explosion to the north of the La Bassee-Bethune road'.

My dear mothe ...
My dear mother

I am afraid it is some time since I have written and I have not much time to write now. We get relieved from the trenches tomorrow and ...
My dear mother

The weather is beginning to clear up now. What a rotten June we have had.

I don't when I shall get my leave now, no leave seems to be ...
My dear mother

Very many thanks for your letters which I got today.

We have just come out from 4 days tour in the trenches. Not such bad trenches bu ...

Today was quite like midsummer but the trenches are still very wet. I got back from my night fatigues at about 11.15 this morning and have no ...

My dear mother

At present my Coy are behind in billets just behind the line. Two Coys are up in the trenches with another battalion who are ...

My dear mother

We are still in the trenches but the sun has improved them a lot. Yesterday evening we were heavily shelled and the Boches at ...
My dear mother,

At last we are out of the trenches for a Bde rest. By Jove we have had a hard time this last 16 days. When we were out of the trenche ...
My dear mother

We go into the trenches tomorrow I myself am going up tonight with a working party.

Barton went on leave before I got back and is ret ...
Worcestershire Rgt

My dear mother

We are in the same old trenches. I myself am garrisoning a keep with my platoon in rear. It is very dull as I am a ...

My dear mother

I am going on leave on the 31st of this month. It may be on the 29th but I don't think it's likely.

We relieved Larry's batt ...

My dear mother

Many thanks for your letter & congratulations. I'm afraid I can't write a letter now but this is just a line to say I am alri ...

My dear mother

I got back here quite safely after quite an enjoyable journey. The sea voyage was !! I was ill for the first time in my life ...

My dear Robert

Very many thanks for your letter and congrats. I'm afraid I had not got time to look through the paper that day, but somebody ...

My dear mother,

Thank you very much for the gloves and Joyce and Meriels presents. Will you thank them very much and say I'll write.

I'm afr ...
My dear mother

A very merry Xmas to you and all at home. And many thanks for your letter which I got yesterday.

I can't think where Larry's lot are ...
My dear Joyce

Very many thanks for your letter from Nuneaton.

As you say the weather has been decidedly wet and then the frost to cap the lot. You c ...
My Dear Mother

I have not been able to see Larry yet and now I'm afraid I never shal. We are leaving the Division. We have been in the trenches ever ...
My dear Aunt Esther

Very many thanks indeed for both your parcels one of which I got today and the other one I got two days ago. The socks are very u ...
My Dear Mother

We have got stuck halfway, that is why I am writing from here. However we can get stuck as much as they like on the way back. We stopp ...
2/Worc Regt Sunday

My dear mother,

I am still on this bomb school. We have been moving about so much lately that we have not been able to do much in ...
My dear mother

Very many thanks for your letter of today. As far as I can make out I ought to get some on about the 21st.

We came out of the trenche ...
My dear mother

We were inspected by the King on Friday. Rather an honour as the Battalion was picked out to represent the 5th Brigade. It poured with ...
2/Worc Regt Sunday

My dear mother

Very many thanks for the Hereford Times and the letter I got today. I'm very sorry I have not written for such a l ...
2/Worc Regt BEF

My dear mother

There is no time to write a proper letter but I will send a line to say I'm still allright. We are still in the trenc ...
2/Worc Regt

My dear mother,

Our officers have been reinforced as far as I can make out by officers from the 12th Battn. I do think it's a shame. Rea ...
Field Service Postcard. Multiple choice crossed out except for 'I have received your letter dated Oct 2nd, letter follows at first opportunity'
2/Worc Regt Monday

My dear mother,

We are more or less into it again but have no nearly made up the strength of the Battalion yet. We have got too m ...
Oct 4 1915 2/Worc Regt [writing noticeably more shaky]

My dear mother

I am afraid it is ages since I last wrote you a proper letter but I have not h ...
My dear mother,

We are still in the trenches and not moving at all a nice time. They are shelling us pretty hard, but we are giving them a much bette ...
My dear mother

We are back in the fighting again after going back for 16 hours sleep and I slept the whole time. We have been in it since Friday Sept ...
My dear mother,

I am allright at present but we have had an awful time. The 2/Worcestershire Regt has again made its name of which you will no doubt ...
My dear mother,

You will now have probably found out by the papers what we are doing. We have been on the move all night.

Your loving son Tom

Fie ...
My dear mother

Many thanks for both your postcards. We caem into the trenches yesterday and are having some very nice weather but a lively time at th ...

My dear mother

Very many thanks for the H. Times. Why did you suddenly think I was at Devonport and put it on the address?

We ought to have ...
My dear mother

Glad to hear such good news of Robert. Can you send me his address? [Robert wounded and hospitalised]

Has Austen's photo turned up ye ...
My dear mother

We came out the trenches yesterday evening and present are billetted just behind. We are going 'in' again tomorrow in the same trenche ...

My dear mother

No time to write a proper letter. We went out of the trenches last night -- got absolutely soaked to the skin, and came into t ...
My dear mother

This letter may reach you late for various reasons in the post.

My home address was sent for leave last night so I hope to be home in ...
My dear mother

I went to the concert in B--- last night and afterwards went in to an hotel to get some dinner and who should I meet but Capt Priestma ...
My dear mother

Very many thanks for your letters I got today. I am sorry I haven't written lately. I thought I had but it must have been a mistake on ...
[KW date July 31st 1915]

My dear mother

Here we are in the trenches again having come in last night. I was on a working party for 4 hours last night ...
[July 28th 1915 KW date]

My dear Joyce

Very many thanks for the stocking puttees. They are a great treat after wearing puttees all day long.

We are ...
[Postcard not dated. KW date 27 July 1915]

No time to write now but will write tomorrow. I got some stockings & puttees from Joyce -- just the right ...
[Postcard not dated. KW date 27 July 1915]

[Addressed to Miss RJ Wilmot]

Very many thanks for the stockings & puttees, they are just what I meant. I ...
[KW date 26 July 1915]

Dug Out Davies s/t

My dear mother

Very many thanks for both your letters and the razor blades. You may be surprised to hear ...
[KW date July 20th 1915]

My dear mother

I wrote to you two days ago but can't remember whether it got posted or not. I hope it did as I cannot find ...
Sunday 18th

My dear mother

Did that cablegrame come from you that I got yesterday saying that I was reported dead? If so it's quite a mistake I'm fa ...
[July 18th 1915 KW date]

My dear mother

We were relieved from the trenches on Sunday night. They shelled us rather severely over last 2 days but oth ...
Field Service Postcard dated 17 July, received [KW date] 18 July 1915

[multiple choice crossings out]

I am quite well.

I have received your telegra ...
[KW dated July 11th 1915]

My dear mother. Just a line to say I am alright but had two near squeakes from trench mortars the night before last. I have ...
[gap presumably while he travels home -- none from Sandhurst it seems!]

July 4th 1915

2nd Bn Worc Regt 5th Bde 2 Division BEF France

My dear mother ...
[Undated: KW July 3rd 1915]

C Coy 2nd Batt Worc Reg BEF France

My dear mother. We are now having a few days rest after spending 4 days in the trench ...
[KW July 7th 1915]

[Same address]


My dear mother

I got here yestereday and almost as soon as I got to the billetts we went off to the trenc ...
Strongfield Sask Sept 10th

My dear mother,

Many thanks for yours of Aug 24th. I have spoken to Porter [?] and he is bang on but I said I would stick ...
Sept 6 1914

My dear mother

Many thanks for your letter. I was awfully sorry to hear about the black cow it must be a terrible loss just now.

What a ...
Tuesday July 28

My dear mother

No time to write. Nobody has been into town for a long time but somebody is going in tomorrow. We have been working h ...
Sunday July 10

My dear mother

We have at last finished summer fallowing. Next we shall have to getting up hay discing[?] and harrowing.

I've never ...
Thursday July 7

My dear mother

We are taking pigs into Hawarden to-morrow so I must write this now. I've had no time to write at all as last week we ...
July 1st 1914

My dear mother,

I wrote you last week -- stamped the letter & everything but forgot to send it into town.

Many thanks for yours of Ju ...
Letters to his mother

Envelopes attached addressed to Perrystone Towers, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England. Dated by KW June 16th 1914

My dear m ...
Envelope attached addressed to C.W. Stuart Esq, 81 Hijo-Machi, Kobe, Japan, via Siberia

Cathedral School, Hereford

My dear Uncle Charlie,

I'm s ...
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