Letters Home from The Front - Major Holt to his children at Sibbersfield Hall

One of the most exciting discoveries so far, a fantastic and poignant collection of short letters and drawings from Philip Holt during the first world war.

Letters 1916

In 1916 Evelyn was 7 and George 6 years old.

Friday 14.1.16.


Dearest Evelyn


Thank you so much for your nice letter and pictures.  You are a clever little girl to write and draw so well and I like it very much.  We are fighting the Germans here every day but I have not killed many yet.  I have got a nice horse now to ride on, a chestnut like your mother’s old horse the Cat.  There are a lot of rats here, I wish you would send me John out to catch them.  This is a German which Capt Greenshields says he killed, is he not clever, he is the only one who has killed a German yet. 


Kiss your Mummy for me and look after her well.  Kind regards to your Nanny.  Give Don a piece of cake from me.


Your loving Father

Monday 14.2.16.


Dearest Evelyn and George


Thank you so much for your little parcel with chocolate and peppermint in.  It is very good of you to send me a present.  I hope to come home soon and to see you all.  We are going back tomorrow to the trench to fight the Germans, I hope we shall manage to kill some. 


Kiss your Mummy from me and give Don a biscuit.


           Your affectionate Father,



Wednesday 12.4.16.




Dearest Evelyn and George,




Thank you very much for the nice letter you wrote me some time ago.  We are having a rest now and I go out for a ride with Major Watson every day.  We rode up near the Germans this morning and a big gun went off quite close to us and frightened our horses like this.  We nearly fell off.



Wednesday 12.4.16 continued




I have a horse called Beauty, it looks like this, and Major Watson has a dog called Tino which goes with the horses.  It joined us three months ago and goes everywhere with him; it has a long body and a long tail with short legs.


I hope you are good children and are kind to your Mother and Don.  Kiss them both from me also Aunt Evie.


Every your affectionate Father

Pembroke Dock Saturday October 7th 1916


My darling Evelyn,


I am writing to wish you many happy returns of the day and a happy birthday.  I hope you will like the caravan which Mummy and I are giving you for a birthday present.  I only wish we could be at home for your birthday.  Are you having a party and a cake?  I expect you are.  Has Top’s puppy been found yet?  I have got Popoff down here and I ride him with the soldiers nearly every day.  Mummy will ride him tomorrow if it is fine.  We hope you and George will be able to come down here soon.


Give my love to George and a big kiss. And give Don something nice to eat.


Your affectionate Daddy