Many men who signed up had a strong faith. At Redruth Wesleyan Chapel, 150 members of the Young Men’s Bible Class volunteered. Many wrote back to Harry Rich, a local mining entrepreneur, who ran the class. Click here to read a letter from Chester Trelease and here to read a letter from Cpl A Polkinghorne.
The letter below from Corporal Cecil J Hill, 23rd TMB (Trench Mortar Battery) to Harry Rich was written on 9 March 1917. We have not been able to track down Corporal Hill’s military records, but if he had stayed in the 23rd Trench Battalion, he would have fought at Ypres and Passchendaele.
‘On coming out of the trenches a few days ago I received your letter and the very handy present enclosed. I must thank the Class, through you most heartily for the plated-looking glass which has already begun to serve its purpose with my section & myself. Rather a curious coincidence, but the same time as your present arrived a parcel of comforts arrived from the Workers of Redruth Highway Wesley who had not forgotten me, altho’ I had not attended the Chapel for some years. You could be surprised to know how the arrival of a letter, newspaper, or parcel from ‘Ye Olde Countrie’ invariably cheers one up. How is the Orchestra going on now? Is it still in progress or has it been suspended from the duration of the war. Kindly remember me to the Bible Class when they assemble together again and thanking ‘One & All’ for the present I will conclude by wishing to remain yours truly’ ‘We have a Divisional Band now and many enjoyable evenings are spent when we are all out of the line. Concerts are arranged by the Various Regiments.’