Chester Trelease was one of many young men who wrote back home to Redruth Wesleyan Chapel from the Front. The Cornwall Records Office, Truro, holds letters from him and others from the Bible Class. Click here to read a letter from Cpl A. Polkinghorne of St Day Road, Redruth.
Chester, who attended the Young Men’s Bible Class at the chapel, had left Cornwall some years earlier to seek his fortune further afield and was in Australia when World War One broke out. In 1916 Chester volunteered to fight with the Australian Imperial Forces and joined the 28th Bn. Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
In France in a pause from fighting on the Western Front, he remembers fondly his old Chapel congregation back in Cornwall and thanks them for the kind gift of a wallet for Christmas. Four months later, he was dead. ‘Killed in action’ is written in pencil at the top of the letter, dated 12 February 1918. The letter is addressed to Mr Harry Rich, a well-known figure in Redruth, who was a prominent figure in local life and in particular at Redruth Wesleyan Chapel where he led the Young Men’s Bible Class.
“Dear Mr Rich
It affords me very much pleasure in replying to the parcel and letter that I received from the people of Wesley at Xmas. Though I am a little behind time in my answer I trust I am not too much so for circumstances has placed me in a rather active position of late. But at present I am resting in a peaceful village away from the scenes of war of the Great European War.
I am going on pretty well myself up-to-date and so far have escaped personal injury. I trust that the struggle will soon end and the democracy for which we fight will once and for all time triumph over Prussian tyranny and oppression. I have heard nothing of the whereabouts of either H Webber of G Berryman, both as you no doubt aware being members of the Australian Imperial Forces on Active Service. I trust they are both well. A friend of mine has just gone to England on leave named Trezillian Australian born of Cornish parents. Having told me he might he paying a visit to Cornwall I have him your address if he chose to call on you. Trusting you are well and hoping to hear form at any time, I remain
Your old scholar